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CENTCOM Officials Announce Capture of 'Chemical Ali'

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2003 – Iraq's Gen. Ali Hassan al- Majid, the infamous "Chemical Ali," has been captured and is in the custody of coalition forces, according to a U.S. Central Command news release.

Al-Majid, No. 5 on CENTCOM's "Iraqi Top 55" list, was captured in Iraq and has been in custody for a "couple of days," a defense official in the Pentagon said. No other details were available.

The former official in Saddam Hussein's regime is believed to have led the 1988 campaign against rebels in northern Iraq that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Kurds from poisonous gas attacks. He is a cousin of Saddam Hussein.

To date, coalition forces have captured or killed 39 of the top 55. Al-Majid is the fourth of the top five to be caught or killed. No. 1 is Hussein, who is still at large. The others from the top five are Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday, and Abid Hamid Mahmud, the former dictator's personal secretary.

Officials at CENTCOM noted that coalition forces will continue to work at apprehending former members of Hussein's regime.

The announcement of al-Majid's capture comes a day after the most recent death of an American serviceman in Iraq. CENTCOM reported today that an improvised explosive device killed one soldier from the Germany-based 1st Armored Division and wounded two others. The attack occurred in the Karkah district of Baghdad at roughly 11 p.m. local time Aug. 20.

Officials have not released any of these soldiers' names.

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