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Saddam Genocide Trial Adjourned for 10 Days


The genocide trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been adjourned for 10 days, after more Iraqi Kurdish witnesses testified during Thursday's session.

Two witnesses described in court how Saddam's forces crammed Kurdish villagers into filthy trucks, took them to a remote desert region late at night, and then shot them dead.

A few people survived, the witnesses said, by overpowering their guards and running away before the shooting began. One of the men said he fell into a ditch filled with bodies and lay still, to escape notice, then ran off into the desert when the guards moved away.

Prosecutors say Iraqi forces killed more than 180,000 Kurds in the 1988 Anfal campaign in northern Iraq.

The former dictator and six co-defendants are facing charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and torture.

A verdict in the first case against Saddam and seven co-defendants is expected early next month. In that case. the defendants are accused of genocide for the deaths of 148 Shi'ite Muslims, who were killed after a failed attempt to assassinate Saddam.

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

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