Ali Hassan al-Majeed, the Saddam Hussein henchman widely known as ‘Chemical Ali’, has been executed by hanging in Iraq.
A cousin of the late Iraqi president, who was himself put to death in 2006, Majeed had received four death sentences in separate trials.
The latest, this month, was for the 1988 gas attack on the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja in which around 5,000 people were killed.
One Halabja resident said he was happy at news the death sentence had been carried out. “I call on all Iraqis to unite so that the Iraqi government can get its job done, for the people and for the families of the Halabja martyrs.”
But a very different view was expressed in Majeed’s home town of Tikrit. One man there said he thought Saddam’s former enforcer was a martyr, insisting he was killed by traitors.
Majeed had a reputation for ruthlessness in crushing Saddam’s opponents, including Shi’ites, that won him widespread notoriety. Also known as The Butcher of Kurdistan, Majeed earned his Chemical Ali nickname because of his use of poison gas.