Iraq's government says it has executed Saddam Hussein's notorious henchman and cousin, widely known as "Chemical Ali," for crimes against humanity.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says Hassan al-Majid was executed Monday.  He had been sentenced to death by hanging four times by Iraqi courts, most recently in a verdict earlier this month.

Al-Majid was found guilty of ordering a poison gas attack on Iraqi Kurds in the northeastern village of Halabja in 1988.

The assault killed an estimated 5,000 Kurds, making it the deadliest such attack ever against civilians.  It also earned Al-Majid the nickname "Chemical Ali."

Al-Majid previously had been condemned to death for his role in a broader crackdown on Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, known as the Anfal campaign, that killed tens of thousands of people.  He received two other death sentences for his roles in suppressing Iraqi Shi'ite uprisings in 1991 and 1999.

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

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