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Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' Buried Near Hussein

Ali Hassan al-Majid
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) -- Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for his use of poison gas against minority Kurds, was buried late on January 26 near his cousin, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a tribal leader said.

Majid's burial in Hussein's hometown of Tikrit came a day after the feared Hussein aide and military commander was hanged in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

"His body was received late last night by police in Tikrit," Munaf Ali al-Neda, a prominent tribal figure in the largely Sunni Arab province, said today. "[Majid] was buried close to [Saddam's sons] Uday and Qusay, at the same place where Saddam's grave is located."

Neda said some relatives of Majid were present at the quiet burial ceremony in the village of Awja. Majid's grave is outside a building where Hussein is buried, alongside those of Uday and Qusay.

His grave today was covered with Iraqi flags dating back to Hussein's era.

Hussein, who ruled Iraq with an iron fist from 1979 until the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, was hanged by the new Shi'ite-led government in late 2006. Both of his sons were killed by U.S. forces in 2003.

The Hussein gravesite is sometimes visited by Iraqis who are nostalgic about the Hussein era.

Iraqi Kurds and some Shi'ite Arabs, who suffered in Majid's brutal campaigns to stamp out resistance following the first Gulf War in 1991, reacted with joy to Majid's execution.

Some questioned the timing just six weeks before a March 7 general election.