A man who worked as Uday Hussein’s chief executioner has revealed how Saddam’s son once ordered him to seize, and then help drag, two 19-year-old students into a cage to be devoured by lions.

”I saw the head of the first student literally come off his body with the first bite,” he told the London Times. He says he was forced to watch the animals devour the young students. ”By the time they were finished there was little left but for the bones and bits and pieces of unwanted flesh.”

The 36-year-old executioner, who uses the pseudonym Abu Ahmad, was told the men ”had competed with Uday where some young ladies were concerned, ” according to the newspaper.

Ahmad also claims to have supervised mass beheadings on the orders of Uday, and recounted the decapitation of 36 people, including a pregnant woman, in a single afternoon.

He claims to have been so distressed at participating in the killing of an unborn child he ”wished for Allah to open up the ground and swallow everyone there including myself.”

Uday wouldn’t watch the executions, instead sending a cameraman to film them. He’d then order the victims’ remains returned to their families with the head and body in separate bags, reports the paper.

Ahmad says he was also involved in killings in which the victims’ heads were placed in a vice and their bodies split down the middle by a swordsman.

He says he never disobeyed Uday’s orders out of fear he too would be executed.

Now in hiding, Ahmad, who has four children, sleeps surrounded by guns and grenades out of fear American forces will come looking for him.

U.S. soldiers have already captured several of Saddam’s bodyguards and came close to seizing the former Iraqi leader in Mosul shortly after the deaths of his sons last Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

Military sources say intelligence intercepted a single satellite phone signal known to belong to Saddam during the bombardment of the building in Mosul where Uday and Qusay were killed.

Soldiers searched the nearby villa from which the call was made but came up empty.

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