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Killing of Iraqi Civilians Index

Killings Database – Year 2008



The Baiji Killings



Media Reports

Government Reports

Photo Credits


Background - Baiji, May 21st, 2008


“A U.S. helicopter airstrike on Wednesday night killed eight civilians, including two children, north of Baghdad, police officials said on Thursday. Colonel Mudhher al-Qaisi, police chief in the town of Baiji, said the attack was on a group of shepherds in a vehicle in a farming area. Relatives said some of those killed were fleeing on foot after the U.S. military arrived in the area. ‘This is a criminal act. It will make the relations between Iraqi citizens and the U.S. forces tense. […],’ Qaisi told Reuters. A U.S. military spokeswoman, Lieutenant-Colonel Maura Gillen, said the helicopter fired on the vehicle after observing ‘suspicious activity.’ She said the driver had ignored warnings to stop. […]”


Excerpt of a Reuters article from May 22nd, 2008

After the airstrike - Burying the dead


Video: Aftermath of the Baiji Killings


Media Reports


May 23rd, 2008 - Iraq Police Chief Says U.S. Killed 7 Civilians

1 news article by the Los Angeles Times


May 22nd, 2008 - U.S. Airstrike Kills Iraqi Children

1 news article by CBS News


May 22nd, 2008 - U.S. Helicopter Strike Kills 8 Iraqi Civilians

1 news article by Reuters



Government Reports


May 22nd, 2008 - Coalition Forces Pressure Al-Qaeda Detaining 2 Wanted Men, 28 Other Terrorist Suspects

Press Release by the Multi-National Corps Iraq, Press Desk, Baghdad, Iraq


“[…] Coalition forces killed six terrorists, detained two wanted individuals and detained 28 other suspected terrorists during operations conducted throughout Iraq Wednesday. Two civilians were also killed during the operations.


“[…] Coalition forces continued to follow individuals believed to be associated with the bombing network and stopped a vehicle south of Bayji. Coalition forces tried to detain the occupants of the vehicle using non-lethal force, including firing three warning shots, but the vehicle’s occupants refused to surrender, despite other individuals in the area exiting their vehicles with their hands up. Coalition forces engaged the target vehicle’s occupants, killing five terrorists, after the terrorists exhibited hostile intent and failed to comply with instructions to surrender. Two children in the vehicle were also killed. Coalition forces killed another terrorist in a field next to the road after the terrorist also refused to follow instructions to surrender and exhibited hostile intent.


“In a continuation of the operation, Coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists allegedly part of the same network. Detainees on the scene told Coalition forces that those killed in the vehicle near Bayji included the targeted terrorist.


“[…] ‘MNF-I sincerely regrets the injury of any innocent civilians and condemns those terrorists who place civilians recklessly in harm’s way. Terrorists continue to show their disregard for human life by endangering children with their illegal and violent activities,’ said Col. Jerry O’Hara, MNF-I spokesman. An investigation of the incident involving the children has been initiated. […]”



Aftermath of the Killings

Funeral scene 1

Funeral scene 2

Funeral scene 3


Photo Credits




1) Residents pray near the bodies of civilians killed in an air strike, during a funeral in Baiji, 180km north of Baghdad - May 21st, 2008 - Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters;


Aftermath of the Killings


1) A man looks at the bodies of shepherds killed in an air strike, during a funeral in Baiji, 180 km north of Baghdad - May 21, 2008 -Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters;

2) Residents gather outside a Sunni mosque to attend a funeral for the shepherds killed in an air strike in Baiji, 180 km north of Baghdad - May 21, 2008 - Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters;

3) The bodies of shepherds killed in an air strike lie on the ground outside a Sunni mosque before their burial in Baiji, 180 km north of Baghdad - May 21, 2008 - Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters;


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