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Kurd Testifies at Saddam Trial About Massacre


A young Kurdish man has testified at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial that he survived an Iraqi firing squad during a 1988 military campaign against Kurds.

The man, Taimor Abdallah Rokhzai, said he was 12-years-old at the time, and that Iraqi forces lined up dozens of Kurds by a trench and then opened fire.

He said he watched as his mother and sisters were killed, but that he survived and was able to escape.

The Baghdad trial of Saddam and his former commanders resumed Monday following a two-week break.

The ousted Iraqi leader faces the death penalty if convicted of genocide for the military offensive against Iraqi Kurds, known as "Operation Anfal." The prosecution says some 180,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

While defense lawyers have been boycotting the trial for two months, at least two attorneys did attend today's court session. The defense is protesting the court's refusal to give them more preparation time as well as other rulings.

Saddam has already received the death penalty in another trial for his role in the massacre of 148 Shi'ite villagers in Dujail in 1982.

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