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'Chemical Ali' admits ordering destruction of Kurdish villages

[JURIST] Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile], the cousin of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] also known to the Western media as "Chemical Ali," unapologetically admitted in court Sunday that he gave orders for the destruction of dozens Kurdish villages and the relocation of thousands of Kurds in the 1980s. The prosecution in the ongoing genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] currently underway before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] also introduced evidence [JURIST report] which indicated Saddam's regime's involvement in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds.

Al-Majid is now the leading defendant [JURIST report] in the trial following the December 30 execution [JURIST report] of Saddam Hussein. The six remaining defendants are all former Hussein regime officials and were originally charged with the late dictator in connection with the deaths of some 180,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] of the 1980s. AP has more.

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