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Saddam Hussein: The tyrant they cannot kill

There have been at least six major coup attempts against Saddam since the Gulf War. All have been bloodily suppressed.

Spring 1991: Revolt by Brigadier al-Haqim al-Tirkiti, a helicopter commander, swiftly put down.

June 1991: Gen Mahmoud Faith al-Jaburi, commander of a Republican Guard brigade, moves forces towards the presidential palace. Pilots bomb Saddam's home. He is out. Up to 100 officers executed in reprisals.

June 1992: Security guards learn of plan to attack Saddam's motorcade in Baghdad. Four Republican Guard officers ambushed by the dictator's agents and killed.

July 1992: More than 420 people from powerful Jabouri clan jailed on suspicion of supporting coup plot. Faith healer plotting to decapitate Saddam with sword betrayed. He and accomplice have dynamite detonated in their mouths.

August 1993: Dozens of officers executed after attempted coup. Attempt to assassinate Saddam by enlisting one of his cooks to lace his food with poison - a favoured method used by Saddam's security forces to kill opponents.

December 1993: Attempted bomb attack on presidential convoy in Baghdad.

January 1994: Army lieutenant, apparently acting alone, opens fire on Saddam, who is unhurt.

June 1995: General Turki al-Dulaimi leads Republican Guard rebellion. Brutally crushed.

June 1996: Eight hundred arrested, at least 32 executed, after latest coup attempt.