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Ali Hassan al-Majid

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General Ali Hassan al-Majid (1941 - April 5, 2003?), a first cousin of President Saddam Hussein, was a Defense Minister of Iraq. He was called Chemical Ali and the Butcher of Kurdistan for ordering a poison gas attack in 1988 that killed thousands of Kurds (see Halabja poison gas attack). He also oversaw the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and 1991 and served as the country's military governor and Head of State from August to November of 1990. After the 1991 war, he commanded the Republican Guard divisions that put down a rebellion by Shi'a Muslims in Iraq's southern marshlands.

Considered a war criminal by human rights groups, he had been placed by Saddam Hussein in charge of southern Iraq to quell any civilian uprisings. [1] (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030312-32976.htm)

Al-Majid may have died in April of 2003, following the US-led 2003 Invasion of Iraq. After a coalition attack on his house in Basra, he was reportedly killed by laser-guided bombs. "Major Andrew Jackson, of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, said that the body was found along with that of his bodyguard and the head of Iraqi intelligence services in Basra." [2] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,931721,00) "He is a senior adviser to Saddam. He is known as an enforcer for the regime," said a U.S. intelligence official, who asked not to be named. "He is used to put down uprisings and maintain order." [3] (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030312-32976.htm)

In June 2003, al-Majid's status was changed from "believed dead but unconfirmed" to "unknown" by U.S. defense officials, saying he might still be alive after all. He was rumored to have been joking and smiling in a Baghdad hospital on the day that it fell.

He is prominent on the U.S. list of most wanted Iraqis and is high in the deck of most wanted Iraqi playing cards.

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