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A series of 10 photos on May 15 by photojournalist Francoise de Mulder purportedly of a mass grave at Kutswadi near the Iran border (which I cant locate on map or gazatteer). They can be found at Corbis.com by entering the search term Iraqi + kutswadi, but I have uploaded them onto another site for the purposes of discussion. The caption is simply "The corpses of Iraqi soldiers", they have not been used by any media outlet. They consist of a number of iraqi males mostly in civilian clothes who are blindfolded and hand bound. I will argue for a number of reasons that the most likely explanation is that deaths were caused by coalition military action and have been recycled into a mass grave scene. 1) The very fresh nature of the corpses, for photos taken over 5 weeks after the fall of baghdad suggest they have all died during the final stages of the war and possibly have been kept in conditions that would mitigate against decay processes, such as insects. 2) Despite the evidence of earth moving, these corpses were obviously not excavated here insitu, but rather placed here after whatever cosmetic excavation took place. http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001175.jpg http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001179.jpg http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001181.jpg http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001174.jpg The corpses appear to be resting on a firm soil surface, or in some cases resting against the loose pile up earth - there is no sign of any trench whatsoever. The corpses are not dirty at all, as one would expect after having earth removed from over them. There is no loose soil between the corpses, or partially covering, rather individual corpses appear to have been placed there. There are no photos at all of any excavations gradually revealing corpses or partially buried remains. 3) With few exceptions eg http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001180.jpg The corpses are not in uniform but rather civilian clothes. One at least appears to be a child, consistent with collateral coalition damage. http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001177.jpg Others are clearly in civilian clothes. http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001173.jpg Or have had clothes removed - possibly by the effects of blasts or incendaries http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001172.jpg There is no indication that most of these people were soldiers. 4) All corpses lack footwear, emphasising they were most unlikely to have been executed in situ. But rather have undergone some post death processing, possibly storage in a mortuary or hospital. 5) None appear to have any visible bullet wounds consistent with execution, or any bullet wounds at all. Nor are any spent cartridges visible at the site. But some of the clothing appears torn or burnt and also there are burn marks on some bodies. http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001176.jpg http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001177.jpg Execution at close range by high impact bullet leaves a very noticable wound. Whereas few coalition caused casualties are derived from bullets as they rarely get within rifle range. 6) Some of tied hands clearly would be very easy for living person to escape from. http://ifnotnow-thenwhen.50megs.com/FD001172.jpg The corpse in the top photo could have simply slipped the tied cloth over his hands when alive, emphasising it has probably been added after death. Cloth strips are a rather odd choice of binding agent in anycase. I am guessing there is a very good reason why this story did not run. Nevertheless in the background some American/British civilian suits can be seen inspecting the site suggesting the CPA must have some knowledge of this site. It would be interesting to know what this. Particularly the complete photographic record of the site exhumation and what autopsy work was done, if any. But I realise the what is important here is to create an impression, not a serious investigation. Do I believe that occupation forces would cynically bind their own victims hands and blindfold for publicity purposes? Yes I most certainly do. ____________________________________________________________ Get advanced SPAM filtering on Webmail or POP Mail ... Get Lycos Mail! http://login.mail.lycos.com/r/referral?aid=27005 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk