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Kurdish Witnesses Testify Against Saddam During Baghdad Trial


More Kurdish survivors of Iraqi poison gas attacks testified Wednesday at the latest trial of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Saddam and six co-defendants are charged with genocide in the 1987-1988 Anfal military operation that prosecutors say killed 180,000 people.

Witnesses spoke of losing entire families to poison gas. One mother described how she and her children were blinded by the gas for several days and forced to take cover in a cave. She said she was horrified when she regained her sight and saw her children blackened by the chemicals.

Another witness said he discovered the dead bodies of his brother and nephew embracing.

The trial has been adjourned until September 11th.

Saddam's defense team says the operation was aimed at wiping out Kurdish separatist guerillas who sided with Iran in its war with Iraq.

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. The verdict is expected in mid-October. If convicted, Saddam could be sentenced to death.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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