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Coalition Strikes Home of 'Chemical Ali'

Coalition Strikes Home of 'Chemical Ali'

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CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar (AP) -- Coalition aircraft on Saturday struck the villa of an Iraqi general known as "Chemical Ali" for ordering a poison gas attack that killed thousands of Kurds in 1988.

Two coalition aircraft attacked Gen. Ali Hassan al-Majeed's villa in the southern city of Basra early Saturday, using laser-guided munitions. Basra is 250 miles southeast of Baghdad.

The U.S. military said it was not known if the general was home at the time of the attack or if he had been injured or killed.

An evaluation of the mission was under way, said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Owens.

"We only put out what we can confirm," Owens said. "We are continuing to target the leadership of the regime and legitimate military targets."

The airstrike was part of an effort to bring down President Saddam Hussein's regime, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Al-Majeed is a cousin of Saddam and a member of the Iraqi leader's inner circle. He holds the military title, "southern commander of forces."

The general boasted of ordering attacks on Iraqi Kurds, including the 1988 gas bomb attack in 1988 on the village of Halabja, where an estimated 5,000 people died.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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