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Kurdish Witnesses Take Stand in Second Saddam Trial


The second trial of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and six co-defendants resumed Tuesday in Baghdad, with a Kurdish witness describing how jets dropped chemical weapons on his village nearly two decades ago.

The former leader is charged with genocide during Operation Anfal - a military campaign in 1987 and 1988 that prosecutors say wiped out dozens of villages and killed 180-thousand Kurds.

Two of Saddam's co-defendants also took the stand today, insisting that Iraqi forces were only attacking Iranian troops and Kurdish rebels during the military campaign.

One of the defendants is Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in gassing civilians.

On Monday, the ousted Iraqi leader refused to enter a plea or state his name before the judge. The judge then entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Saddam is still waiting for the verdict from his first trial on charges of ordering the deaths of about 150 Shi'ite villagers after a 1982 assassination attempt. If convicted, he could face execution. That verdict is expected on October 16th.
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