Iraqi-Kurds hold pictures of deceased relatives as they gather in Halabja on March 16, 2018, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Halabja gas massacre that killed some 5,000 people. AFP / SHWAN MOHAMMED
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On March 16, 1988, as many as 5,000 Iraqi Kurds, mostly women and children, were killed when deadly gas was released on the northern town of Halabja by Saddam Hussein's forces.In the final months of the eight-year Iraq-Iran war, ethnic Kurdish fighters who sided with Iran capture the large farming town of Halabja in Iraq on March 15 .Home to more than 40,000 people, the town is in the Kurdistan region and just 11 kilometers from the Iran border, while 250 kilometers from the Iraqi capital. Saddam's army retaliates with artillery and airstrikes. Analysts say afterward that the attack may have been in revenge for the Kurdish fighters' support of the Iranian army in the 1980-1988 war.
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