Chemical Ali executed

The Iraqi capital was rocked by bombs following the hanging death of Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as Chemical Ali, for crimes against humanity.

Majid was executed this week following a death sentence imposed over crimes committed against the Kurdish population in 1998.

"Ali Hassan al-Majid has been executed after all legal conditions were fulfilled," a spokesman for the Iraqi government told the Voices of Iraq news agency.

The death sentence imposed on Majid came as a result of his orchestration of an attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja that used Sarin and VX nerve gas.

Three previous death sentences had been levied against Majid since U.S. led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein's Baath government in 2003.

Majid did not deny the charges of ordering gas attacks on the Kurds, which is considered the worst chemical weapons attack on a civilian population in history. Kurdish leaders had complained that Majid's crimes against the Kurds should be labeled as an act of genocide.

Majid was Saddam Hussein's first cousin and had been appointed as Defense Minister in the Baath regime. In 1995, after it was discovered that Majid was involved in illegal smuggling in Iran, he was dismissed from this position.

He was reappointed by Hussein in 2003 during the Iraq war. Majid was arrested by U.S. Armed Forces on August 17, 2003 and handed over to the Iraqi government for trial in 2006.