VIDEO - According to Arab Television news agencies, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was executed in Baghdad early Saturday morning by hanging. Several witnesses were present when the Iraqi dictator, who ruled between 1979 and 2003, took his last breath shortly before 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) Saturday. Saddam’s half brother and Intelligence Head Barzan al-Tikriti, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, a senior judge belonging to the Iraqi Baath Party, were also executed alongside Saddam. An official source within the Iraqi prime minister’s office told CNN that Saddam’s body was laid out in front of him. He also said that employees of the prime minister’s office cheered and danced around the body. According to the national security advisor in Iraq, Saddam did not protest his execution. "He held a Quran and asked that it be passed along to anyone." Saddam was convicted of crimes against humanity for his part in the execution of 148 Shiite residents of Dujail, a town north of Baghdad, in June 1982, which took place following his attempted assassination during a visit to the town. The United States military had custody of the Iraqi ruler since his capture in 2003. The execution took place despite last minute attempts by Saddam’s attorney’s to delay the death sentence. Saddam’s attorneys appealed the to the US District Court of Washington for a temporary stay of execution Friday night, which would prevent Saddam being transferred from US custody to the hands of the Iraqi government. The attorneys said during the day that they had received permission to meet with Saddam one final time, but shortly afterwards they were informed by the US that the visit had been canceled. They added that American sources requested they pick up Saddam’s personal effects in preparation for his execution. Fear of riots For fear of riots, a four-day curfew was imposed on Saddam’s place of birth, the town of Tikrit. The American military said it was prepared for any escalation of violence that would occur as a result of the Iraqi dictator’s death. Saddam's daughter asked that his body be buried in Yemen, a source close to the family told Reuters on Saturday. His daughter Raghd, who is exiled in Jordan, “is asking that his body be buried in Yemen temporarily until Iraq is liberated and it can be reburied in Iraq,” a source close to the family said by telephone. Saddam's lawyer Najib al-Nuemi confirmed the family's apparent desire to bury the former dictator outside of Iraq.