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Iraq's Kurds Mark Anniversary of Poison Gas Attack

Kurdish girls dressed in the colors of their national flag stand behind graves of victims of the 1988 gas attacks during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the attacks in the Iraqi northern Kurdish town of Halabja, 16 Mar 2010

Ceremonies took place in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region Tuesday to mark the 22nd anniversary of a deadly chemical attack on the town of Halabja.

Participants observed five minutes of silence in memory of 5,000 Kurds killed during a poison gas attack by forces of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The 1988 attack is one of the most infamous massacres of Saddam's anti-Kurd "Anfal" campaign.

Iraqi Kurds have sought reparations from the post-Saddam government in Baghdad, as well as help for the thousands of people who have suffered after-effects of the attack.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq said the anniversary is also a time to "heal, seek closure and look forward."

In January, the Iraqi government executed Saddam Hussein's cousin, Hassan al-Majid, for the poison gas attack and other crimes against humanity. He was widely known as "Chemical Ali."