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A cry to God

From: "G. Simon Harak, S. J." <>

Dear Friends,

Again, the human cost.  How long will God fail to answer her prayers?

Simon, S. J.

5:38 PM GMT+8, Wednesday August 18

Rescuers seek Iraqi baby buried in US, British strikes

JASSAN, Iraq, Aug 18 (AFP) - Rescuers and residents were searching Wednesday 
for an Iraqi baby trapped under the rubble of a house destroyed in US and 
British air strikes that killed 12 members of a family.

The house is in the small town of Jassan in the Wasset province, 200 
kilometres (125 miles) to the south-east of Baghdad, in a Shiite Moslem 
region near to the border with Iran.

As the rescuers combed through the rubble to find the three-month-old baby, 
they pulled out the severed leg of one of the women killed in Tuesday's 

In front of the brick house at the entrance to the town, an old woman sat 
crying, repeating the names of her daughter and grandchildren slain in the 
raids, and calling on God to punish the Americans.

"We heard the planes at 15:05 (1105 GMT), they hit the house, and then 
bombed it again as we were evacuating the victims," local resident Ali 
Khudair told AFP.

Residents said the house belonged to Kattuf Hashem, who was inside with his 
family and two visiting relatives when the bombs hit.

Five women, four children and two men were killed instantly, while a third 
man later died of his wounds. Eleven members of the family were buried on 

"I swear on all that is sacred that there is no military target in this 
residential area," provincial governor Mahmud Shukur Shahine told reporters.

Shahine said it was the first time Jassan, which consists mostly of 
mud-brick houses, had been hit by allied missiles.

"The Americans are pigs who have no human feeling, and the Saudis and the 
Kuwaitis are linked to their crimes," by allowing the allies to use airbases 
on their territory, the governor said.

Baghdad said a further eight civilians were killed and 10 injured in allied 
raids in the north, in some of the deadliest bombings since the intense 
US-British Desert Fox air campaign in December.

The deadliest bombing since December according to Iraq was on January 25, 
when 24 were killed in the southern Basra area.

Baghdad on Tuesday claimed both the northern and southern strikes were 
outside the no-fly zones, which run north of the 36th parallel and south of 
the 33rd parallel.

"Jassan is outside the so-called air exclusion zone, which proves that the 
aggression is aimed at the whole of Iraq," the Ath-Thawra daily, mouthpiece 
of the ruling Baath party, said Wednesday.

A part of the Wasset province is north of the 33rd parallel, while a small 
part of the Erbil province, where Iraq says some of the northern strikes 
took place, stands below the 36th parallel.

The no-fly zones were set up by the allies in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War, 
ostensibly to protect the Kurdish and Shiite Moslem inhabitants of those 

Iraq does not recognize the zones, which are not directly covered by a UN 
resolution, and has vowed to resist patrols by British and US warplanes, 
"whatever the sacrifices."

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