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US Soldiers Danced Around Dead Iraqi Civilians: Report


HADITHA, Iraq, November29 , 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Grinned US soldiers were dancing around bodies of Iraqi civilians killed during a US-led onslaught on the western city of Haditha, residents said on Monday, November29 .

"I saw US soldiers laughing and dancing around the bodies of civilians killed in cold blood" a resident identified as Goma Al-Hadithi told the London-based Al-Quds Press news agency.

Occupation troops have killed in cold blood children, women and elderly in their house-to-house pre-dawn raids, he charged.

Al-Hadithi recalled that a week ago American troops bombarded several houses, killing four entire families just to avenge a nearby attack on a Humvee that left one of their fellow soldiers dead.

"They then lifted some 40 bodies from pools of blood and throw them in the yard of the Haditha hospital."

Hadithi, a former army officer, further charged that US troops once ordered five youths to lie prone on the ground before shooting them for no apparent reason.

US troops have been launching for months a series of offensives on Sunni towns in the Anbar province on the Euphrates to quell what they call raging "insurgency".

Haditha lies at the edge of Anbar, the heartland of the resistance operations.

Operation Rivergate focused on Haditha and two nearby towns in the Euphrates valley.

Scorched Earth

The Rivergate offensive, which started on the first day of Ramadan on October5 , has left the Iraqi city in ruins and destroyed its two main bridges, leaving large parts practically inaccessible.

"People were taking pains in ferrying their wounded relatives to the hospital through boats," Al-Hadithi said. "One of my neighbors died because we could not take him to hospital."

He accused the US occupation troops of adopting a scorched-earth policy in Haditha.

"The bombardment and air strikes were so intense that buildings were leveled to the ground and dozens were trapped under the rubble due to the crippling curfew from18 : 00pm to08 : 00am."

The curfew has also banned students from going to their schools, putting their academic ambitions on hold.

"The US blockade has closed almost all schools," Um Mohammad, a teacher said with her voice breaking.

"Dozens of university students have to walk some 10 kilometers on foot every day to reach their universities outside the city."

American troops have further imposed a media blackout, denying reporters access to the ghost city.

"This is the first time I see a reporter in Haditha since the US launched its offensive," an elderly resident told Al-Quds Press's correspondent.

Human Rights Watch revealed in September that US troops routinely subjected Iraqi detainees to severe beatings and other cruel and inhumane treatment as a "way of sport" or just to "relieve stress".

Far in Afghanistan, two US soldiers were reprimanded on Sunday, November28 , for burning two dead Taliban bodies.

The two soldiers responsible for recording a message boasting about the act of the burning and broadcasting it on loudspeakers will face non-judicial punishment, which may include a loss of pay or demotion in rank.

:: Article nr. 18272 sent on 29-nov-2005 22:59 ECT


Link: www.islamonline.org/English/News/2005-11/29/article04.shtml

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