Blasts rock central Baghdad

26/1/10; (2 Items)

At least 24 people were killed last night and 40 wounded in three car bombings that shook the Iraqi capital.  The first explosion occurred about 3.30pm (11.30pm AEDT), sending plumes of smoke rising hundreds of metres over the Abu Nawaz district, near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, just across the Tigris River from the Green Zone. The second blast came just minutes later in the centre of Baghdad near the Green Zone, with the third close by soon after. The blasts struck near the Babylon and al-Hamra hotels, popular with Western journalists.


Chemical Ali Hassan al-Majid executed in Iraq
Iraq’s government spokesman says Saddam Hussein’s notorious cousin “Chemical Ali” was executed last night about a week after being sentenced to death for the poison gas attacks that killed more than 5000 Kurds in 1988.  News of the hanging came shortly after three suicide car bombs struck downtown Baghdad. It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were linked to the execution of Ali Hassan al-Majid. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the execution took place. Al-Majid – widely known as Chemical Ali for the gas attacks – was convicted on Sunday for ordering the poison gas to be dropped on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 as part of a campaign against a Kurdish uprising.
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