Postcard from... Turkey

The coach journey from Diyarbakir to Erbil is an arduous one on the best of days. It takes around 12 hours to travel between the two Kurdish cities in Turkey and Iraq, with regular stops for tea and a lengthy wait on the border.

Cleric tries to ease tensions with Kurds

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr visited the president of the autonomous northern Kurdistan region yesterday seeking to ease tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds that have threatened the coalition government.

Two US hikers left behind in Iran will face trial for spying

Two American hikers who have been held in a Tehran prison for more than a year will face trial at the Revolutionary Court early next month charged with espionage and illegally entering the country, their lawyer in Iran confirmed yesterday.

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Ali Hassan al-Majid: Iraqi official known as 'Chemical Ali' executed

Ali Hassan al-Majid was one of the great monsters of the 20th century and carried out one of its vilest crimes. It was he who gave the orders for hundreds of thousands of Kurds to be gassed and the survivors massacred in 1987 and 1988. "The armed forces must kill any human being or animal present," he decreed.