BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhuanet)-- Former U.S. colonel
John Murtha acknowledged in his Pentagon report Wednesday on the Haditha
incident in Iraq that the U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold
|A video provided by Hamourabi Human rights group shows covered bodies, which Hamourabi says, are of a family of 15 shot dead in their home in Haditha, in western Anbar province, Iraq March 23, 2006. A video of civilians who may have been killed by U.S. Marines in an Iraqi town in November showed residents describing a rampage by U.S. Soldiers that left a trail of bullet-riddled bodies and destruction. |
Murtha is also a member of the Congress defence
appropriations subcommittee and an opponent of the Bush Administration's Iraq
The incident happened in Western Anbar Province,
Iraq, on Nov. 19 last year that left dozens of Iraqi deaths.
During the incident, he said in the report,
the troopers shot several Iraqi civilians, though they
claimed they were caught in the line of fire between them and insurgents.
Iraqis in the town of Haditha have all
along stressed "the U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi
civilians, including seven women and three children."
One young girl among them said the
troopers killed six members of her family, including her parents. "The
Americans came into the room where my father was praying," she said, "and shot
"There was no firefight. There was no IED (improvised
explosive device) that killed those innocent people. Our troops overreacted
because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold
blood," said Murtha.
"I understand the investigation shows that in fact
there was no firefight, there was no explosion that killed the civilians on a
bus. There was no shrapnel. There was only bullet holes inside the house where
the Marines had gone in," he added.
"So it's a very serious incident. It shows the tremendous
pressure these guys are under every day when they're out in combat and the
stress and consequences," he noted, stressing "nothing indicated the
Iraqis killed in the incident were at fault."
"One man was killed with an IED," he made it clear,
referring to a marine killed by the bomb. "After that, they actually went
into the houses and killed women and children."
However, officials in the Pentagon and at the United
States Central Command declined to say whether Murtha was correct in his report
that U.S. Marines "killed the innocent in cold blood" during the