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Thread: U.s. Reportedly Kills 40 Iraqis At Party

  1. #1
    lynx's Avatar .
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    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party early Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating.

    Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of the city of Ramadi, said between 42 and 45 people died in the attack, which took place about 2:45 a.m. in a remote desert area near the border with Syria and Jordan. He said those killed included 15 children and 10 women.

    Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45.

    Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of those allegedly killed.

    About a dozen bodies, one without a head, could be clearly seen. but it appeared that bodies were piled on top of each other and a clear count was not possible.

    Iraqis interviewed on the videotape said partygoers had fired into the air in a traditional wedding celebration. American troops have sometimes mistaken celebratory gunfire for hostile fire.

    "I cannot comment on this because we have not received any reports from our units that this has happened nor that any were involved in such a tragedy," Lt. Col. Dan Williams, a U.S. military spokesman, wrote in an e-mail in response to a question from The Associated Press.

    "We take all these requests seriously and we have forwarded this inquiry to the Joint Operations Center for further review and any other information that may be available," Williams said.

    The video footage showed mourners with shovels digging graves. A group of men crouched and wept around one coffin.

    Al-Ani said people at the wedding fired weapons in the air, and that American troops came to investigate and left. However, al-Ani said, helicopters attacked the area at about 3 a.m. Two houses were destroyed, he said.

    U.S. troops took the bodies and the wounded in a truck to Rutba hospital, he said.

    "This was a wedding and the (U.S.) planes came and attacked the people at a house. Is this the democracy and freedom that (President) Bush has brought us?" said a man on the videotape, Dahham Harraj. "There was no reason."

    Another man shown on the tape, who refused to give his name, said the victims were at a wedding party "and the U.S. military planes came... and started killing everyone in the house."

    In July 2002, Afghan officials said 48 civilians at a wedding party were killed and 117 wounded by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An investigative report released by the U.S. Central Command said the airstrike was justified because American planes had come under fire.
    Source

    I wonder what GW's comment about this will be? I'm betting on "distressing". Either that or they were all terrorists, you know the sort you get at these wedding parties.
    .
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  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    ruthie's Avatar Poster
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    It's a sure thing that Bush will say something idiotic.oops: ..he is limited, you know.
    This is not the first time a wedding party has been slaughtered, or other innocent civilians, for that matter.
    On another note, new pictures have "come to light". Of course, the administration here will feel a desperate need to classify them. first, because, um..the pictures will inflame negative passions. then comes, um...yeah, right, they are against the Geneva Convention...like they really care about that? It's a crying shame.
    Don't read what isn't there.

    anywhichway

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Double Agent
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    ya what a damned shame

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    I can't wait till Bush is out of office.

    He hasn't done one good thing here or abroad. He's almost antichrist like....along with Sharon.
    Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, Bitchhhh!

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  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Al-Ani said people at the wedding fired weapons in the air, and that American troops came to investigate and left. However, al-Ani said, helicopters attacked the area at about 3 a.m. Two houses were destroyed, he said.
    The hell ? They knew it was a wedding party. They knew these people were harmless. What was this - target practice ?

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
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    Of course doesn't condone in anyway what happened but it wasn't in the posted article.

    The area, a desolate region populated only by shepherds, is popular with smugglers, including weapons smugglers, and the U.S. military suspects militants use it as a route to slip in from Syria to fight the Americans. It is under constant surveillance by American forces
    Life should come with backround music
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  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Originally posted by dwightfry@19 May 2004 - 21:42
    Of course doesn't condone in anyway what happened but it wasn't in the posted article.

    The area, a desolate region populated only by shepherds, is popular with smugglers, including weapons smugglers, and the U.S. military suspects militants use it as a route to slip in from Syria to fight the Americans. It is under constant surveillance by American forces
    And as we all know, the very best way to smuggle contraband is to fire wildly into the air.

    Not really relevant IMO.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    It is a well known fact that weapon smugglers can't resist weddings. They drop their contraband and head straight for the dancing every time.


    err........apparently


    This is at least the third wedding they have shot up, not to mention a similar slaughter in Afghanistan.

    Well that should really win friends and influence people. What are the chances of locals reporting illicit traffic over the border now?
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    ruthie's Avatar Poster
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    Surprise...Pentagon officials have denied it was a wedding party.

    Pentagon says it attacked fighters -- not wedding
    Witnesses say Iraqi wedding attacked near Syria
    Wednesday, May 19, 2004 Posted: 4:21 PM EDT (2021 GMT)


    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Pentagon officials Wednesday denied alleged eyewitness reports of a U.S. attack on a wedding party in a remote area of western Iraq that killed innocent civilians.

    "Our report is that this was not a wedding party, that these were anti-coalition forces that fired first, and that U.S. troops returned fire, destroying several vehicles, and killing a number of them," a Pentagon spokesman said.

    He was responding to a video distributed by The Associated Press showing Iraqi witnesses who said that at least 20 people were killed and five others critically wounded early Wednesday when planes fired on a wedding celebration.

    A man on the video said all homes in the village near the Syrian border were destroyed in the attack at about 3 a.m. local time Wednesday.

    The video showed at least a dozen bodies, including small children, wrapped in blankets for burial as they were unloaded from a truck.

    Men with picks and shovels were digging a series of graves in the video.

    A senior military coalition official said as many as 40 people were killed in the attack, but said it was his belief that the attack was against a foreign fighters' safe house.

    A coalition official said in a written statement that coalition forces conducted a military operation "against a suspected foreign fighter's safe house in the open desert, 85 km southwest of Husaybah, and 25 km from the Syrian border.

    "During the operation, coalition forces came under hostile fire and close air support was provided.

    "Coalition forces on the ground recovered numerous weapons, 2 million Iraqi and Syrian dinar, foreign passports and a satcom radio," the statement said.

    Asked if the incident was the same one described on videotape, he said, "Yes, it is the same incident."

    He added, "We had actionable intelligence to go after a foreign fighters' safe house. It is not our belief that there was a wedding party in the open desert."

    The taped witnesses identified the village as al Qa'im, which maps show is on the Iraqi side of the Syrian border, along the Euphrates River.

    In Afghanistan two years ago, U.S. airstrikes killed dozens of civilians at a wedding party.

    After an investigation, a report issued by U.S. Central Command blamed those deaths on hostile anti-aircraft fire from the ground that provoked a U.S. AC-130 gunship to respond.

    Local Afghans said that U.S. forces confused "celebratory fire" from wedding participants for hostile fire, but the U.S. military found that several compounds in the area were "positively identified" as sources of anti-aircraft artillery fire.
    CNN
    Don't read what isn't there.

    anywhichway

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