OPCW: Chemical crimes in Halabja most lethal in history
OPCW Director-General in a statement referred to former Iraqi regime's chemical attack on Halabja (a city in Iraqi Kurdistan close to the border with Iran) as the most lethal in history.
Iran Press/Europe: "This terrible event remains the most lethal use of chemical weapons against a civilian population in history; The attack left a legacy of pain and suffering for the survivors, their families, and their community," said Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fernando Arias in a statement.
On 16 March 1988, Saddam's regime conducted a chemical attack, martyring more than 5,000 citizens and injuring more than 10,000 others in Halabja, IRNA reported.
Tens of thousands of Halabja citizens were forced to flee to camps on the border with Iran to stay safe from the deadly attacks and more than 70 families lost their children in the movements.
"Today, we commemorate this tragic event with respect for its victims, as well as a renewed commitment to ensuring such tragedies, are never repeated,'' the statement reads.
"On behalf of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I not only offer our deepest sympathies to the authorities and residents of Halabja but also our promise to maintain our efforts to eradicate the threat of these terrible weapons," he noted.
"The Chemical Weapons Convention is a bond shared by 193 countries to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons. Over the 22 years of action under its obligations, we have made impressive progress towards this noble goal", according to the statement.
Earlier surprisingly, a victim of Saddam's chemical bombardment on Halabja, who sought haven in Iran when at the age of seven and grew up in an Iranian family, will be returned to Iraq in a ceremony on Tuesday to be reunited with his family after 31 years.
Head of the Halabja Chemical Weapons Victims Society Luqman Abdulqader said after three decades of the announcement that he was dead in action, the Halabja resident was identified on a DNA test that he belonged to a Kurdish family in Irbil. 208/211/104