Powell commemorates Iraqi gas attack town

Sept. 15, 2003 at 1:04 PM
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited the site of one of Saddam Hussein's worst atrocities Monday at the end of a visit to Iraq, the BBC reported.

Powell took part in the opening of a memorial and a museum in the northern town of Halabja, where in 1988, about 5,000 Iraqi Kurds were gassed in a single day by the former regime.

He told the gathering of several hundred the man believed to have ordered the attack -- Ali Hassan al-Majid or "Chemical Ali," who is currently in U.S. custody -- "will stay in jail until an Iraqi court decides his fate."

"I can't tell you that Saddam Hussein was a murderous tyrant -- you know that. What I can tell you is that what happened here in 1988 is never going to happen again," Powell said.

Monday also saw a U.S. soldier killed when his unit was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade while on patrol.

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