HALABJA: Hundreds of Kurds took to the streets of the Iraqi town of Halabja today to celebrate the execution of 'Chemical Ali', hanged for the gassing of some 5,000 of its residents in 1988.
"The execution is just and it fills me with a joy that I cannot describe," said Kulala Mohammed, 40, who lost two brothers in the attacks.
"I went to pray at the grave of my brothers and to tell them: 'You can now rest in peace. Your enemy has gone forever and Halabja can be reborn,'" he told AFP.
Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known by his macabre nickname, was hanged on Monday after being ordered executed for the Halabja attack, the fourth death sentence handed down against the infamous henchman of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
In the town's cemetery, relatives gathered at 11:35 am (0835 GMT), the exact time 22 years ago that Majid's forces launched their deadly cocktail of mustard gas and the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin and VX on the small town.
Aras Abed, vice president of the association of Halabja victims who lost 12 family members, said he was "swimming in happiness." "The enemy of the Kurds and of all humanity got what he deserved," he said.