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Saddam Hussein was hanged on Saturday for crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shi'ite men and boys in Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt.

Following are key dates in the life of the former Iraqi president:

April 28, 1937 - Born in al-Awja village outside Tikrit, 150 km (90 miles) north of Baghdad.

Oct. 1956 - Joins uprising against pro-British royalist rulers and then becomes a militant in the pan-Arab, secular Baath Party.

Oct. 1959 - A year after overthrow of monarchy, takes part in attempt to kill Prime Minister Abdel-Karim Kassem. Flees abroad.

Feb. 1963 - Returns to Baghdad when the Baath Party seizes power in a military coup but nine months later Baathists are toppled. Caught and jailed. Elected deputy secretary-general of the party while in prison.

July 1968 - Saddam helps plot the coup that puts the Baath Party back in power, deposing President Abdul-Rahman Aref.

March 1975 - As vice-president of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), signs border agreement with the Shah of Iran, who ends support for an Iraqi Kurdish revolt, causing its collapse.

July 16, 1979 - Takes power after President Ahmed Hassan al -Bakr steps aside as chairman of the RCC.

Sept. 22, 1980 - Following border skirmishes, Saddam launches war on Iran that lasts eight years.

March 16, 1988 - Iraqi forces launch chemical attack on Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja, killing about 5,000 people.

Aug. 20, 1988 - A ceasefire is officially implemented in the Iran-Iraq war. The campaign against Kurds continues.

Aug. 2, 1990 - Launches invasion of Kuwait, prompting U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iraq.

Jan. 17, 1991 - U.S.-led forces start Gulf War with air attacks on Iraq and occupied Kuwait. Hostilities end on Feb 28 with eviction of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Oct. 15, 1995 - Saddam wins a presidential referendum and is elected unopposed with more than 99 percent of the vote.

Oct. 15, 2002 - Official results show Saddam wins 100 percent of votes in a referendum for a new term in office.

Dec. 7, 2002 - Saddam apologises for invasion of Kuwait but blames the emirate's leadership. Kuwait rejects the apology.

Feb. 2003 - In first interview in more than a decade, Saddam denies Baghdad has any banned weapons or links to al Qaeda.

March 20 - U.S. launches war against Iraq.

April 9 - U.S. forces sweep into the heart of Baghdad as Saddam's three-decade rule crumbles.

July 22 - U.S. military confirms Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed in gun battle in Mosul.

Dec. 14 - U.S. officials announce capture of Saddam.

Oct. 19, 2005 - Trial opens with Saddam charged with crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shi'ite men in Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt. He pleads not guilty.

Aug. 21, 2006 - Saddam refuses to enter a plea as the trial starts on charges of war crimes in the "Anfal" campaign that killed tens of thousands of Kurdish villagers in 1988.

Nov. 5, 2006 - A court in Baghdad finds Saddam guilty of crimes against humanity and sentences him to hang for the deaths of 148 Shi'ite men in Dujail.

Dec. 26, 2006 - An Iraqi appeals court confirms the guilty verdict and death sentence against Saddam in the Dujail case.

Dec. 30 - Saddam is hanged.