As Saddam Hussein’s trial over charges of genocide against Iraq’s Kurds resumed, a survivor took the stand to describe how she hid with her children in a cave after her village was gassed. The former Iraqi President and six others are charged with war crimes over the late 1980s Anfal offensive, with Saddam and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid – who was dubbed Chemical Ali – also accused of genocide. The Kurdish woman told the court the gas made everyone vomit, some bringing up blood, blinded her children and burnt people’s skin.
Saddam’s regime launched the attacks against the Kurds in an attempt to stamp out Kurdish insurgents, who were allegedly aligned with arch-enemy Iran. Most of the victims, however, were civilians. Estimates of the number of people killed range from 50,000 to 180,000. Saddam is still awaiting a verdict in his first trial, which also carries the death penalty. It is due in October.