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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Iraqi PM ponders execution delay
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Majid was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity
The Iraqi government may seek legal advice on delaying the execution of a cousin of the late Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, the prime minister says.

Nouri Maliki said he did not want the execution of Ali Hassan "Chemical Ali" al-Majid during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week.

An Iraqi appeals court upheld Majid's sentence in September for the killings of at least 100,000 Kurds during 1988.

A 30-day deadline set by the court was due to expire on Thursday.

Two others also face the death penalty for their role in the killings.

The Iraqi authorities may be hoping to avoid the controversy that arose when Saddam Hussein was executed during the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in December, correspondents say.

Majid was found guilty of crimes against humanity in June for organising what was known as the Anfal campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq in the late 1980s.

He acquired his nickname Chemical Ali during the operation after poison gas was used.

Thousands of villages were also destroyed, as part of a systematic attempt to wipe out the Kurdish people.

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