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IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraq’s Kurdish region has commemorated the 30th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s 1988 gas attack in the northeastern Kurdish town of Halabja that killed 5,000 people.

Kurdish officials delivered speeches to a crowd of hundreds gathered for the ceremony at a stadium in the town.

At a cemetery where many of those killed in the attack are buried, relatives of victims, survivors of the attack and officials laid flowers beside rows of headstones.

The 1988 attack was ordered by Saddam’s government as part of a scorched-earth campaign to crush a Kurdish rebellion in the north and came to symbolize the brutality of his rule.

The vast majority of those killed in the nerve and mustard gas attacks were Kurds. Many survivors still suffer from the after-effects.