Associated Press & Reuters & Yao Runping / Xinhua – 2007-02-11 23:46:02
US Airstrike on Rebels Reportedly Kills Civilians
BAGHDAD, Iraq (February 8, 2007) — A US airstrike Thursday killed 13 insurgents in a volatile area west of Baghdad, the military said. Local officials said 45 civilians, including women and children, died in the attack.
American forces launched the attack after intelligence showed suspected insurgents were assembled in two safe houses for foreign fighters northeast of Amiriyah, 25 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.
Five militants were detained and a weapons cache including armor-piercing ammunition was found in an initial raid on a nearby target, the military said. That operation was followed by the airstrike on the two suspected safe houses in which the military said 13 insurgents died.
Police and hospital officials in the area offered a conflicting account, saying the airstrike hit the village of Zaidan south of Abu Ghraib and flattened four houses, killing 45 people, including women, children and old people.
An Associated Press photo showed the body of a boy in the back of a pickup truck at the nearby Fallujah hospital and people there said he was a victim of the Zaydan airstrike. Other photos showed several wounded children being treated in the hospital.
Thamir al-Dulaimi, a doctor with the Fallujah Public Hospital, said 20 other civilians from the village were being treated, while a highway patrol officer said civilian cars were being used to bring the wounded to the hospital.
Amiriyah is in volatile Anbar province, an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad where hundreds of US troops have been killed.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press
US Military in Iraq Admit Airstrike Error
MAHMUDIYA, Iraq (February 5, 2007) -—US military officers offered their condolences on Monday to an Iraqi family south of Baghdad in a rare admission of error after killing two innocent Iraqis in an airstrike last Tuesday.
A US military statement released on January 31 said two “insurgents” out of a four-man team were killed as they were trying to plant a roadside bomb in the town of Mahmudiya.
Calling the incident a “tragic accident,” the officers on Monday handed out $2,500 to the family for each man killed.
A small group of US officers, accompanied by an Iraqi officer and Mahmudiya’s mayor, entered a tent with their weapons where mourners gathered to pay respect to the victims, shaking hands with tribesman and drinking hot coffee.
After one of the tribesmen lectured the Americans on their “many mistakes”, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Morschauser apologized to the gathering.
“I wish I could roll the clock back five or six days and start again,” he said.
US military admissions of error are rare in Iraq.
Many Iraqis believe wrongful killings of Iraqis at the hands of Americans are frequent and generally go unnoticed.
US Warplanes Mistakenly Bomb Kurdish Position in Iraq
Yao Runping / Xinhua
BAGHDAD (February 9, 2007) — A US air strike apparently mistakenly destroyed a position of the Kurdish party led by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani on Thursday night, killing eight militiamen and wounded six others, a party official said on Friday.
US warplanes bombarded the Karama military position outside Mosul City, some 400 km north of Baghdad, said Muhiy al-Dien al-Mazouri, head of media office in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Mazouri said the victims were Peshmerga members, the military wing of the PUK, which is one of the major Kurdish parties in Iraq’s northern autonomous region.
US Contractor Shot by US Forces near Base
Truck driver for KBR killed in an ‘escalation of force incident,’ military says
BAGHDAD, Iraq (February 10, 2007) — The US military confirmed on Saturday that American forces at Camp Anaconda, the huge air base north of Baghdad, shot and killed a civilian contract truck driver.
A spokeswoman for KBR, a contracting subsidiary of Halliburton that was formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root, said the shooting was under investigation.
Melissa Norcross, the KBR spokeswoman, said the company was not releasing the name of the dead driver or a second person in the truck who was wounded “to protect the individuals’ privacy.”
In Baghdad, Lt. Cmdr. Bill Speaks said, “There was an escalation of force incident at Camp Anaconda on Feb. 5 (Monday) that resulted in the death of a civilian contractor. The incident is under investigation by the Army Criminal Investigation Division and KBR.”
An escalation of force incident normally means a driver approaching a checkpoint did not respond to military orders to approach slowly and stop.
“Sadly, 98 KBR employees and subcontractors have lost their lives, and more than 430 have been wounded by hostile action while performing services under the company’s government contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait,” Norcross said in an e-mail response to queries about the incident.
Halliburton is spinning off KBR into its own separate, publicly traded entity.
© 2007 The Associated Press
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