The Iraqi government has launched an inquiry into how the hanging of Saddam Hussain, the country's former leader, was filmed and who was behind it.
The video has provoked outrage, with thousands of Sunni Muslims holding demonstrations in and around Tikrit, Saddam's northern hometown.
"An investigation has been launched into who cried out during the execution, and into who filmed it and put it out there," an official close to Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, was reported as saying.
The film, apparently taken with a mobile phone, showed Saddam at his execution on Saturday being taunted by witnesses, including one who shouted the name of Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric.
The footage shows Saddam dying while the crowd shouts and ends with a close up of Saddam face, his neck broken, having fallen though the trapdoor of the gallows.
The video is more graphic than the brief clip released, without sound, on state television and quickly spread on the internet and between mobile phones.
Many Sunnis have been angered by the suggestion that someone in the party executing Saddam should be a Sadr supporter.
A number of commentators have said the footage makes the execution look like a "sectarian lynching" rather than an act of law.
The execution has also been criticised for having taken place during the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, traditionally a time of forgiveness.
Iraqi officials have said Saddam died before sunrise and the official start of the four-day festival.
Saddam's execution had provoked protests in countries around the world, as well as in Iraq.
|Saddam's execution has provoked |
protests around the world [AFP]
In Tikrit, thousands continued to gather in specially-erected condolence tents and in Al-Dawr, where Saddam was captured by US forces in 2003, locals unveiled a huge marble portrait of Saddam.
Yahiya al-Attawi, a representative of the Muslim Scholars Association which conducted a mourning ceremony for Saddam, said: "We can't render to Saddam Hussein what he did for us, even if we did everything in our power."
In London, the video of Saddam's execution was condemned as "deplorable" by John Prescott, Britain's deputy prime minister.
"Frankly, to get this kind of recorded messages coming out is totally unacceptable and I think whoever is involved and responsible for it should be ashamed of themselves," Prescott said on BBC radio.