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Wildly Conflicting First Reports About Haditha

Why were the first accounts of the "massacre" at Haditha so radically different from what we are now told transpired?

From Al Jazeera by way of MidEastWire.com’s Daily Iraq Monitor:

November 20, 2005

In a statement, the US Army has said that a US Marine was killed when an explosive charge went off in the city of Hadithah. Additionally, eight gunmen were killed in clashes with the US troops. Sources in the city said that the US troops bombarded four houses, killing 31 Iraqis, and that many dead bodies are strewn on the streets. Meanwhile, the US Army statement said that 15 Iraqis were killed in an explosion that targeted a US patrol in the city.”

[This is immediately followed by a live telephone interview with “journalist” Walid Khalid in Baghdad conducted by anchorperson Layla al-Shayib in the Doha studios. When queried about the Hadithah incidents, Khalid says : “ Yesterday evening, an explosive charge went off under a US Marines vehicle in the Al-Subhani area, destroying it completely. Half an hour later, the US reaction was violent. US aircraft bombarded four houses near the scene of the incident, causing the immediate death of five Iraqis. Afterward, the US troops stormed three adjacent houses where three families were living near the scene of the explosion. Medical sources and eyewitnesses close to these families affirmed that the US troops, along with the Iraqi Army, executed 21 persons; that is, three families, including nine children and boys, seven women, and three elderly people.

Furthermore, the US troops threw their dead bodies onto the street and in the courtyards of the houses. They also set the three houses on fire, destroying them completely. Then, the US troops opened fire on a vehicle in which five schoolchildren were travelling on their return trip from school. After the vehicle stopped, the US troops opened fire on the schoolchildren, causing the death toll to rise to 31 Iraqi civilians, not to mention 11 others who were wounded, and the arrest of 21 suspects near the scene of the incident. The city is now under stringent curfew. The US troops prevented the evacuation of those wounded or killed from the streets. Besides, an announcement aired through loudspeakers at noon today said that the residents of this area must evacuate it quickly.”] – Al Jazeera, Qatar

It should be noted that "Journalist" Walid Khalid has a history of reporting purported US "atrocities" for Al Jazeera.

We can also see how Mafkarat al-Islam first reported the news, via the pro-terrorist albasrah.net:

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Sunday, 20 November 2005.  Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice. 

Sunday, 20 November 2005.

Al-Hadithah

Following Saturday night Resistance attack that left five Marines dead, US troops arrest and shoot 31 Iraqi civilians, Mafkarat al-Islam reports.

In a dispatch posted at 5:30pm Mecca time Sunday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that ar-Ramadi General Hospital had confirmed that US occupation forces had executed 31 Iraqis, ranging in age from 18 to 40, following an Iraqi Resistance attack on American Marines in al-Hadithah in which a Jeep was destroyed and five Marines were killed on Saturday night.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent reported eyewitnesses as saying that after that deadly Resistance attack, US occupation troops had launched a wave of house-to-house raids and arrests, pulling the men out of their homes. The witnesses said that the men were then blindfolded, lined up against the wall of a house and shot to death.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent denied a report carried by al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV, which said that the men had been killed in the course of a battle. All the dead were civilians who had been shot dead in an execution, the correspondent stressed.

At ar-Ramadi General Hospital in the provincial capital, the correspondent received confirmation that all the dead had been civilians and that they had been executed in an apparent act of revenge for the Resistance attack. The bodies of the 31 men remained dumped on the sidewalk by ar-Ramadi General Hospital until dawn Sunday while US forces prevented anyone from approaching them, despite the pleas of local residents and of the wives, mothers, and children of the martyred men.

The correspondent added that US forces had arrested three Iraqi journalists who attempted to get onto the street where the bodies lay in order to photograph them The correspondents were reporter for the newspaper ad-Dar al-‘Iraqiyah, the correspondent for the newspaper al-‘Iraq, and a correspondent working for the Reuters news agency . All had been impelled by their journalistic obligation to record the scene on film, Mafkarat al-Islam noted, but the US troops did not recognize their journalistic status and arrested them to prevent pictures being taken.

The mention of a Reuters reporter/cameraman actually tracks with an article we noted earlier.

But almost nothing else comports with what we have been told since, including even the day of the week the event is supposed to have happened.

And one has to wonder why none of these reporters came forward to report this alleged massacre. And that they didn’t for the seven months from November until Time’s report in May. In fact, they still haven’t.

Why is that? They may even have photographic documentation of the incident. Aren’t they very important witnesses?

Where are they?

(Thanks to Enlightened for the heads up on the Mafkarat al-Islam report.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 19th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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