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Hussein appeals his sentence; 9 U.S. troops die in combat

Attorneys for former President Saddam Hussein on Sunday formally appealed his death sentence for the killing of 148 Shiite men and boys from the town of Dujail in the 1980s, a spokesman for the Iraqi High Tribunal said.

The case will now go to a higher court, which can rule on it at any time. If the court upholds Hussein's conviction, his execution, by hanging, must occur within 30 days, according to Iraqi law.

Raid Juhi, spokesman for the tribunal, said Sunday that two of Hussein's attorneys had submitted the appeal papers.

Hussein was convicted Nov. 5 of crimes against humanity for the Dujail killings, which took place after an attempt on his life in 1982. Hussein and two of his seven co-defendants, including his half brother, were sentenced to death. Four defendants received prison terms ranging from 15 years to life, and one was acquitted.

Hussein is on trial in another case, involving the killing of tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims and Kurds in the 1980s.

Deadly violence continued. The U.S. military announced the combat deaths of nine Americans - one in Baghdad and two north of Baghdad on Sunday, one near Taji north of the capital Saturday, and five in Anbar province on Saturday.

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb exploded at a police station, killing two people, a police official said.

In Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad, 16 bodies were found, an official said.

In Karmah, near Fallujah, U.S. forces raided a safe house used by foreign fighters, the U.S. military said in a statement. The troops fired on the building, killing five suspected insurgents, two women and a child. Two other buildings used by insurgents were destroyed in the raid Saturday night, the statement said. One insurgent was killed in that operation.

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Iraq developments

While President Bush acknowledges the need for major changes in Iraq, he will not use this week's Iraq Study Group report as political cover for bringing troops home, his national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said Sunday.

An American pilot whose F-16 fighter jet went down in Iraq last week was listed as killed in action following DNA analysis of remains recovered at the crash site, the Air Force said Sunday. Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, 34, was supporting troops fighting in Anbar province when his plane went down Nov. 27.

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