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[casi] FW: ‘Liberated’ by US Bombs

This is only one story of many... Today I saw a
special report from Al-Manar Satellite Channel
(Hizbullah's channel) which told the story of a
farming family whose house was bombed after midnight
Tuesday, kiiling 16 out of the 17 who were in it...
The onkly survivor is a 12 year old boy who was
severely burned and lost both arms...
Today they bombed a Red Crescent Maternity hospital in
Baghdad... They also bombed the Syrian pavilion at the
Baghdad International Fair, in what was understood to
be a political message to Syria...
Who said the Americans are not sporty people??

The US/UK have intensified their bombing in the last
two days targeting mainly civilian areas... So far,
the absolute majority of those killed by those
"friends" from the West have been the "oppressed"
Shi'ites whom the "coalition" came to liberate...
With friends like those, who needs enemies?



Exclusive: ‘Liberated’ by US Bombs

Naseer Al-Nahr, Arab News War Correspondent

HILLA, Iraq, 2 April 2003 — Reports of US/UK forces
killing dozens of Iraqi civilians yesterday stoked
growing international anger at the US-led war, already
high after seven women and children were shot dead at
a US checkpoint in central Iraq.

Thirty-three people, including women and children,
died and 310 were wounded in a coalition bombing on
the outskirts of the farming town of Hilla, 80
kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital yesterday,
local hospital director Murtada Abbas said.

He was speaking at the Hilla Hospital where a large
number of children lay wounded under blankets on the
floor due to a shortage of beds.

Fifteen members of one family were killed nearby late
Monday when their pickup truck was blown up by a
rocket from a US Apache helicopter in the region of
Haidariya near Hilla, the sole survivor of the attack

Razek Al-Kazem Al-Khafaji, sitting among 15 coffins in
the local hospital, said he lost his wife, six
children, his father, his mother, his three brothers
and their wives.

The British and US airstrikes on this city accounted
for a further 19 people dead and more than 100 wounded
since Monday evening, Information Minister Mohammed
Saeed Al-Sahaf said on the 13th day of the US-led
attempt to unseat Saddam Hussein and disarm Iraq. US
troops admitted killing seven women and children when
they opened fire Monday on a civilian vehicle at a
military checkpoint manned by the US Army’s Third
Infantry Division at Najaf, 150 kilometers (95 miles)
south of Baghdad.

International commentators and officials agreed that
the incidents, together with the continual bombing on
the capital, were likely to fuel vocal international
opposition to the war and deal a severe blow to the
US-led forces’ bid to win the trust of the Iraqi
people. “If such scenes become routine... the
political war for Iraq could be lost even before the
military one is won,” the New York Times warned in an

The British government admitted for the first time
that Iraqi civilians may see US/UK forces as villains
not liberators.

“We know that for the moment we will be seen as the
villains. We knew that from the reaction before the
conflict started,” Home Secretary David Blunkett told
BBC television late on Monday.

In Brussels the European Commission called the
checkpoint killings “a horrible and tragic incident...
It is not an isolated incident. Too many civilians
have already lost their lives in this war”.

US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Owens, speaking at
operational headquarters in Qatar, said US troops
opened fire “as a last resort” after the civilian
vehicle failed to stop at a military post despite
repeated warning shots fired by US troops. Four people
in the vehicle escaped unharmed. The Washington Post
quoted US Army 3rd Division Capt. Ronny Johnson as
shouting over the radio to his men after the shooting:
“You just (expletive) killed a family because you
didn’t fire a warning shot soon enough.” A US military
investigation has been opened.

In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
said US President George W. Bush regretted the deaths
of Iraqi civilians but “recognizes that most innocents
have been lost in this war at the hands of Saddam
Hussein and his henchmen”.

US troops are on edge after a suicide car bomb attack
Saturday near Najaf killed four soldiers. More than
3,000 Arab volunteers in Iraq are ready to carry out
such suicide missions against the US-led coalition,
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan warned

Meanwhile the air campaign to soften up the Iraqi
forces around the capital intensified. The southern
outskirts of this city were pounded by an especially
intense bombardment that sent balls of fire and towers
of black smoke into the sky.

Massive explosions rocked the area around 4:30 p.m.
(1330 GMT) in what was at least the third wave of
bombings since dawn. Saddam’s main presidential palace
complex in the Iraqi capital, a potent symbol of his
iron 24-year rule, came under fresh daylight
bombardment. Iraq brought up reinforcements for
Republican Guard units defending the approaches to
Baghdad, US officers said, as coalition forces pressed
their operations ahead of an expected major push on
the capital.

US officers said 200 Iraqis were killed, wounded or
captured in the clashes which broke out overnight on
Monday near Karbala, 80 kilometers from Baghdad.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned that as US
and British troops advance on the capital they will
face fierce resistance and could experience setbacks.

“There may be more setbacks for coalition troops,”
Straw said in a speech to the Newspaper Society annual

In the north, coalition warplanes kept up heavy
airstrikes on Iraqi Army positions in and around the
oil center of Kirkuk, rebel Kurdish officials said.

In the southern town of Basra, British troops said
they were waiting for reinforcements before making a
final push to take the city.

An Iraqi military spokesman said at least 54 US and
British soldiers had been killed in fighting since
Sunday, most of them around Basra, with an unspecified
number of others killed in other parts of Iraq.

Officials in London said a British soldier was killed
on duty in southern Iraq, taking to 26 the British
death toll since the start of the war. US authorities
say at least 39 US soldiers have been killed.

With the war looking like lasting far longer than many
had hoped, the House of Representatives appropriations
committee yesterday approved a $74.7 billion funding
boost sought by Bush to fund the campaign.

— With input from Agencies

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