'Chemical Ali' Gets a Fourth Death Sentence
Saddam's notorious cousin sentenced for Halabja attack that killed 5600
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 17, 2010 7:31 AM CST
Rubbar Mohammed visits the grave of her family members who were killed in a chemical attack by Saddam Hussein's forces in 1998, in Halabja, Iraq, Sunday, June 24, 2007.   (AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed)
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(Newser) – Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin "Chemical Ali" was convicted today of crimes against humanity, receiving a fourth death sentence for his involvement in one of the worst poison gas attacks ever against civilians. Families of victims cheered when the judge handed down the guilty verdict against Ali Hassan al-Majid in a trial for the poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988.

The killings are a particular sore point for Iraq's Kurds—many in Halabja still suffer the effects of the nerve and mustard gas. An estimated 5,600 were killed in the gassing of the town, widely seen as the biggest use of chemical weapons on civilians in history. The earlier death sentences against al-Majid have not been carried out because they are tied to a political dispute.