24-hour-curfew in Iraq ahead of Saddam verdict

Iraqi authorities have ordered a 24-hour curfew in Baghdad and three surrounding provinces coinciding with the expected announcement on Sunday of a verdict in the trial of former leader Saddam Hussein, a close aide to the prime minister said Saturday. The curfew, to cover both vehicles and pedestrians, will run from from 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) Sunday to 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) Monday, said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information. The curfew will cover Baghdad, Baghdad province, Salahuddin province which includes Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, and the neighboring provinces of Diyala and Anbar that are the hotbed of the Sunni insurgency battling US troops and the Iraqi government. Baghdad was placed under a heavy security clampdown on Saturday, with additional road blocks, stepped up patrols and all leave canceled for Iraqi troops.