Chemical Ali Is Sentenced to Hang

Hussein cousin and 2 others get death for wiping out Kurds
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2007 10:31 AM CDT
A forensic specialist uses a trowel to remove sand away from human skulls in the al-Samawa desert in Muthanna province, 270 km (168miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 25, 2005. Skulls and bones,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Iraqi commander known as Chemical Ali was sentenced to hang today for ordering the  use of chemical weapons to wipe out whole Kurdish villages, killing some 180,000 people, two decades ago. Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein, and two others found guilty of war crimes by the Iraqi High Tribunal said they were acting on orders at the time.

The campaign against the Kurds was mounted in retaliation against the rebellious ethnic minority viewed as allies of Iran during the 1980s war. Saddam had been a defendant in the case as well, before his execution for killing 148 Shiite Muslim men and boys in another act of revenge, after an attempt on on his life.