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Iraq: 13 killed, 61 wounded "for the safety of the people around it"

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
US missile attack kills 13 civilians in Iraq
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
13 September 2004


"I am a journalist. I'm dying, I'm dying," screamed Mazen al-Tumeizi, a correspondent for the Arabic television channel al-Arabiya, after shrapnel from a rocket fired by an American helicopter interrupted his live broadcast and slammed into his back.

Twelve others were killed and 61 wounded by rockets from two US helicopters on Haifa Street in central Baghdad. They had fired into a crowd milling around a burning Bradley fighting vehicle that had been hit by a rocket or bomb hours before.

It comes on one of Iraq's bloodiest days for weeks in which at least 110 people died in clashes around the country. The Health Ministry said the worst casualties were in Baghdad and in Tal Afar near the Syrian border, where 51 people died.

"The helicopter fired on the Bradley to destroy it after it had been hit earlier and it was on fire," said Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. "It was for the safety of the people around it."

Mr Tumeizi, a Palestinian, was the sixth Arab journalist to be killed by American troops since Baghdad was captured last year. The videotape of his last moments shows how Mr Tumeizi was killed during a live television broadcast, with the Bradley blazing in the distance and a crowd of young men celebrating its destruction, but it shows no reason why the helicopters should open fire.

Many of those hit by the rockets in Haifa Street, in a tough neighbourhood of tower blocks notorious as a centre of resistance to the occupation, were on their way to work. "We are just ordinary workers. We are just trying to live," said Haidar Yahyiah, 23, sobbing with pain from a broken leg as he lay in bed in nearby Karkh hospital.

He and others described how they had been woken by the sound of explosions in Haifa Street in the early dawn. They had been sleeping on the roofs because it is too hot in the Baghdad summer to sleep inside. They saw a vehicle on fire. But it was several hours later, at about 8am, that they sallied out.

By then US troops had already removed four lightly wounded soldiers from the Bradley. Young men and children had swarmed over the vehicle, cheering triumphantly, waving black flags and setting it ablaze again. The US military said that a Kiowa, a light reconnaissance and attack helicopter, fired rockets at the Bradley to destroy weapons and ammunition on board. But it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley.

Hamid Ali Khadum was on his way to work when he was hit. "At first I thought I had just tripped over dead people but then I realised I was wounded myself," he said as he lay in Karkh hospital waiting for an operation on his heavily bandaged left leg. The rest of his body was peppered with shrapnel. A male nurse standing nearby said: "This happens not just in Haifa Street but in all Baghdad, and not just in Baghdad but in all Iraq."

The slaughter in Haifa Street took place only a few hundred yards from the heavily defended International Zone (what used to be called the Green Zone) which houses the headquarters of the Iraqi government and its American ally. It is a measure of the military failure of the US occupation that it has failed to assume control of this Sunni Muslim neighbourhood in the heart of the capital.

Early yesterday, insurgents fired more than a dozen rockets and mortars into the International Zone. The zone contains the US embassy and Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace.

There was violence elsewhere in Baghdad. Colonel Alaa Bashir, the police chief of the Yarmouk district in west Baghdad, was killed by a bomb while on patrol. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a vehicle packed with explosives at the gates to Abu Ghraib prison Â_ he was the only one to die. A US plane attacked a machine-gun team from the Mehdi Army in their stronghold in Sadr City in east Baghdad.

In Ramadi, a city controlled by insurgents west of Baghdad, 10 people were killed and 40 wounded in fighting, according to the local hospital. A US Humvee was also set ablaze, but casualties were unknown.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=561021
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idiots...
 

Buddy Holly

TRIBE Member
US military needs to get out and let the people there live their own lives. THey can opnly bully nations around for so long until someone stands up to them.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Buddy Holly
US military needs to get out and let the people there live their own lives. THey can opnly bully nations around for so long until someone stands up to them.
Thank you buddy holly for that deep and thoughtful analysis. I think Wolf Blitzer's job is coming up on CNN - there might be an opening there! APPLY!!
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hal-9000
There a series of picture that show this guy getting hit, anyone have alink?
There's also a video of a reporter in front of the vehicle while it gets hit.. you then hear the camera man say something over and over again, translated it was "I'm going to die, I'm going to die" and he apparently did right after.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by kuba
Thank you buddy holly for that deep and thoughtful analysis. I think Wolf Blitzer's job is coming up on CNN - there might be an opening there! APPLY!!
Dude, shut up.. he might be stating the obvious but you're a bigger moron for pointing out the even more obvious.
 

Maui

TRIBE Member
I heard a speech given by Mazen Ja'afar, vice president of the Arab Federation of Canada last weekend. He had just spent a month in Iraq and had some interesting things to say.

He mentioned that the people talked about the U.S. dropping a bomb on an Iraqi airport that they described as either nuclear or chemical. Something of which they had never seen before. Hundreds were killed after which the U.S. put up a fence around the airport and prevented anyone from entering for 4 months. Families were not allowed to recover the dead bodies.

He said the Iraqi people, as hard as it is to believe, almost prefer that Bush win this election. He said the people told him that at least that way they know what they are getting, because Bush is upfront about his actions. They do not want a repeat of the clinton years where the attacks were more subdued as this makes it harder for the resistance to gain support and strategize.

He said that the protests that occured in February 2003 during the invasion were inspirational and gave hope to the Iraqi people. Up until that point of seeing thousands of people in the streets around the world they did not know what the pervailing attitude towards them was. Realizing they had support gave them more resilience. (not to take away from or say they didn't have their own reasons for fighting back)

He talked about one situation where he was in a household with a family who were bleeding to death in front of American soliders. The soldiers would not let anyone help the victims. They lay there for an extended period dying. Then the soliders had the media turn their cameras on while one solider held blankets on the victim to stop the bleeding. Cameras were turned back off and the family was left with no help.

The people of Iraq believe that the car bombers killing innocent Iraqi's are linked to the U.S.
He said it is a place of unimaginable pain, suffering and fear.
No family has been untouched by the Invasion.
It is dangerous to get too close to the Americans because they have a license to kill anyone at anytime, and they are scared of rebels and do so. One example he gave was of a vehicle taking to long to move off the road for an American tank to pass. The tank backed up and drove forward over the car.

He said he will be returning and If anyone is interested in going they are welcome to join him.

Peace,

Maui
 

Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
^^^Thanks for that.
Its nice to get firsthand accounts of whats actually going on in Iraq instead of being fed information from other media outlets.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Dude, shut up.. he might be stating the obvious but you're a bigger moron for pointing out the even more obvious.
like what, that buddy holly needs to get on CNN? or that all polaks are dumb?
 

Mr. Magyar

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by kuba
Thank you buddy holly for that deep and thoughtful analysis. I think Wolf Blitzer's job is coming up on CNN - there might be an opening there! APPLY!!
But it certainly isn't as deep or insightful as this gem you posted in another thread:

At this time in the world - seeing how fucked up the politics of the world are - I think it's pretty lousy that the country wher I am from, defends bush over kerry.
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
surprise, surprise...

US gives conflicting accounts of rocket attack that killed 13 dead
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
16 September 2004


The US sought yesterday to defend the two helicopter pilots who fired seven rockets into a crowd on Sunday killing 13 people and wounding 41, saying they had come under "well-aimed ground fire". This is different from the first statement by the US military claiming that they had opened fire with rockets in order to prevent a Bradley fighting vehicle hit by a bomb from being looted of arms and ammunition.

Col Jim McConville, the head of the First Cavalry Division's aviation brigade, said two helicopters armed with heavy machine guns had swooped over a crowd when they were shot at from near the Bradley. Both helicopters then attacked.

The US account of the incident in which Mazen al-Tomeizi, a Palestinian television producer working for al-Arabiya satellite channel was killed, was contradicted by the film taken by his cameraman at the moment the rocket struck. There is no sound of firing from the crowd in the moments before the helicopters attacked.

The US military's accounts of incidents in which it claims to have targeted insurgents but only civilians have died are frequently discredited by Arab television pictures of the incident which US officers apparently do not watch before issuing statements. At the weekend the US was claiming to have precisely hit insurgents in Fallujah while Iraqis were watching pictures on television of an ambulance gutted from the air in which a driver, paramedic and five patients died.

The war in Iraq continues to escalate with a sharp increase in the overall death rate. Three headless bodies were discovered yesterday on a road north of Baghdad and appeared from tattoos to be Iraqis whose hands were tied behind their backs.

While insurgents have often beheaded foreign hostages in their fight against the government and coalition forces, it is not a tactic usually used against Iraqis, who are more often abducted for money.

In Ramadi, west of Baghdad, there was an upsurge of fighting in which 10 people were killed including two women.

Meanwhile, the US has dashed Iraqi hopes that money would at last be spent on Iraq's crumbling infrastructure and no longer squandered on arms and security services as under Saddam Hussein.

The US State Department has announced it is switching $3.4bn of US funds from water and power projects. Most of the money will be reallocated to boosting security and oil output.


"My budget for projects to supply fresh water and irrigate land has been cut by half from $800m to $400m," complained Latif Rashid, the Minister of Water Resources yesterday. "People are going to be very disappointed."

Iraqi power stations are decrepit, often using elderly equipment for which spare parts are no longer produced, and Iraqis had expected that 18 months after the US invasion they would get continuous electricity supplies. Instead many districts in Baghdad get only 14 hours a day.

Polluted water is one of the chief killers of young children but in a city like Basra only 18 per cent of the water supply is clean.

Marc Grossman, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said earlier in the week that $1.8bn of the diverted money would go to recruit 35,000 new Iraqi police officers, 16,000 border guards and 20 additional Iraqi national guard brigades.

It is not clear how much real security the additional security men will provide. Even aspirant police officers injured by a massive car bomb in Haifa Street earlier this week expressed approval of resistance attacks on US forces. In April, the US military command were horrified to find the soldiers and police they had trained went home or switched sides during the Sunni and Shia uprisings.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=562235
 
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