Iraq's prime minister urged his countrymen to accept the verdict against Saddam Hussein expected Sunday without violence, then in the next breath declared that the former dictator must get "what he deserves" with the decision that could send him to the gallows.
Nouri al-Maliki _ the highly partisan Shiite Muslim prime minister who was forced into years of exile during Saddam's Sunni-dominated rule _ imposed an open-ended curfew on Baghdad and two nearby provinces, and closed the international airport until further notice.
Checkpoints went up across Baghdad, and many cities and towns to the north were sealed by Saturday morning to keep residents in and potential attackers out.
The onerous measures threatened gunmen or anyone who ventured out with being shot on sight. Residents scrambled to stock up on food to wait it out indoors, and streets emptied by nightfall.