Iraqis Who Fled To Nashville Applaud Dictator's Death Sentence

Nashville (AP) -- Iraqis who fled in fear for their lives when Saddam Hussein controlled their country say they're not surprised, but are relieved that Hussein has been sentenced to hang.

Isa Chalky was a 16-year-old boy when he and his family walked under cover of darkness to reach Turkey and escape Hussein's campaign against the Kurds. Now 33, Chalky watched the trial of Hussein reach its climax with announcement of the sentence early Sunday. He said it was very emotional to, as Chalky put it, "hear such a brutal dictator get his fate declared."

Pakeza Alexander was 10 when she and her family walked for 21 days to reach a refugee camp in Iran.

Alexander says dozens of her family members left behind were killed because everyone couldn't leave.

Chalky says he has no plans to go back, despite the sentence. He says as long as a nation called Iraq remains, there will be no safety for Kurds.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.