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Saddam Co-Defendant: Iraqi Kurds Spied for Iran Before 1988 Crackdown


A co-defendant in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial says Iraqi Kurds were spying for archrival Iran in 1988, as Saddam's government began a crackdown that killed tens of thousands of Kurds.

Former military intelligence chief Sabir al-Douri made the accusation in court Wednesday after hearing Kurdish witnesses testify about the government's poison gas attacks on Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. All of the accused could face the death penalty, if convicted.

Three other witnesses testified Wednesday before the presiding judge adjourned the trial for nearly three weeks.

On Sunday, the court in a separate trial condemned the former Iraqi president to death by hanging for ordering the killing in 1982 of 148 Shi'ite villagers.

In violence Wednesday, Iraqi security officials say at least 11 people have been killed in separate attacks across the Baghdad area.

Authorities say six of the victims died in a car bombing south Baghdad that wounded at least 25 others. In Baghdad, officials say two mortar rounds exploded near the Health Ministry, killing three people.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed 14 suspected insurgents and detained 48 more in a pair of raids that began Tuesday.

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

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