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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hussein Trial Resumes

BAGHDAD -- A Kurdish woman told of seeing people sickened and dying during an alleged chemical attack carried out by Saddam Hussein's forces, as the genocide trial of the ex-president resumed Monday after a nearly three-week break.

The trial resumed on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks by al-Qaida on the United States. A recent U.S. Senate committee report found no link between Hussein and the terror network, despite carefully crafted White House statements that implied a role for the former Iraqi leader.

During the morning session, Katreen Elias Mikhail, 56, a Kurdish Christian and former militia fighter, said four Iraqi planes unleashed a wave of bombs on the evening of June 5, 1987 on the town of Qalizewa. "I smelled something dirty and strange," said the dignified-looking woman, her left hand trembling. "People were falling to the ground. They vomited and their eyes were blinded. We couldn't see anything."

Mikhail appeared to lodge a complaint against Hussein and his cousin Ali "Chemical Ali" al-Majid, who are among the seven defendants charged in Operation Anfal, a campaign to drive Kurds from sensitive areas near the Iranian border in the 1980s. The prosecution alleges that about 180,000 people were killed during the campaign.

During the proceedings, a defiant Hussein clutched the Quran and insisted that the judge address him as the "president of Iraq."