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Iraq: Aftermath of the Baiji Killings

 

Background

 

“A local Iraqi police chief Thursday accused the U.S. military of killing seven Iraqi civilians, including at least one child, in a helicopter strike in northern Iraq. […] A relative of the dead, Fulaiyh Shimmari […] said the family had gathered in the evening after receiving word that one of their members was about to be released from U.S. custody. ‘We saw the U.S. Humvees surrounding the houses of our family, and then U.S. choppers dropped soldiers on the gathering of cars and people,’ Shimmari said by telephone. ‘The guests and relatives panicked. Some of them fled on foot like me to their houses and others took their cars and escaped.’ Shimmari said three of the seven people in a vehicle targeted by the helicopter were killed, including a child. Four people on foot were shot and killed as they fled, he said. […]”

 

Excerpt of a Los Angeles Times article from May 23rd, 2008

Dead Iraqi child after air strike

 

The Video

 

 

External view: link   file format: .flv

Screenshots

Killed civilians

Bullet holes in car

Dead Iraqi boy

Video Credits

 

1) The video was shot shortly after the killings took place on May 20th, 2008 by one of the inhabitants of the near-by village Al-Mazraa. At the end of June 2008, the footage was distributed via the internet along with information about the events and the names of seven victims:

 

Family Members and Friends Killed as They Waited for Relative’s Release

 

On May 20, 2008 in the village of Al Mazraa, near Baiji, Salahuddin Province, Iraq

 

Eight relatives and a neighbor on their way to a homecoming party for a detainee released from Camp Bucca were shot and killed by American soldiers as they waited on the road outside the neighborhood. American soldiers were conducting raids in the area, so neighbors had warned the family to stay away from the area until the patrol was over.

 

As the two car convoy was waiting nearby, an American helicopter nearby opened fire on the vehicles. As the vehicles were hit, the drivers attempted to seek cover, but both vehicles were repeatedly shot and disabled. The helicopter landed but instead of assisting those shot and needing medical help, the American soldiers killed any survivors and then wrote numbers on the foreheads of some. Several children including a young girls body are clearly visible, and the wounds suffered by the men are horrific. The vehicle is clearly shot with many rounds and the seats and road is covered with blood. Iraqi police were called to the scene to remove the bodies, and some video footage was taken. It is clear that these people were unarmed civilians.

 

American troops did eventually enter the house where over 50 Iraqis were gathered for the homecoming party, and the soldiers proceeded to destroy furniture and belongings as they conducted their search. No one in the house was harmed.

 

The names of those killed:

 

Sabah Rasheed Matrood

Saab Rasheed Matrood

Kamel Badr Daher

Ali Badr Daher

Udei Badr Daher

Fateh Haref Nouar

Abdul Rahman Kamel Badr

 

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