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More Than 600 Iraqis Have Been Killed

4-11-04 (CBS/AP) More than 600 Iraqis have been killed in fighting in Fallujah since Marines began a siege against Sunni insurgents in the city a week ago [in retaliation for the deaths of 4 Americans], the head of the city's main hospital said Sunday.

Asked about the report of 600 dead, Marine Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne said, “What I think you will find is 95 percent of those were military age males that were killed in the fighting.”

Statistics and names of the dead were gathered from four main clinics around the city and from Fallujah General Hospital, said the hospital's director, Rafie al-Issawi.

The dead totaled more than 600, most of them women, children and elderly, since the siege of Fallujah began early Monday, he said. Bodies were being buried in two soccer fields [mass graves], one of which was visited by an Associated Press reporter. Row after row of graves filled the field.

The total number of dead in the city may be even higher than the hospital's tally, al-Issawi said. “We have reports of an unknown number of dead being buried in people's homes without coming to the clinics,” the hospital director said.

Bodies were being buried in Fallujah’s soccer fields as residents took advantage of a pause in fighting since Friday to tend to casualties.

At one of the fields, dubbed the “Graveyard of the Martyrs” by residents, an AP reporter saw rows of freshly dug graves with wooden planks for headstones over an area about 30 yards wide by more than 100 yards.

Some of the headstones had names of women and other names were noted as children. Khalaf al-Jumaili, a volunteer helping bury bodies at the field, said more than 300 people had been interred there.

Asked Sunday about the number of Iraqi casualties in Fallujah, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt referred reporters to Marine spokesmen. But he insisted that Marines are “tremendously precise” in their operations and suggested insurgents were hiding among civilians, causing civilian deaths.

Nearly a third of Fallujah's 200,000 people fled the city during the lull in fighting.

During the past week's fighting, Marines and insurgents have battled in residential neighborhoods, sometimes around mosques, with the Marines calling in tanks and helicopter gunships for support. AC-130 warplanes have also been used, and Marine snipers have taken up positions on buildings.

Four killed as RI's Mer-C ambulance hit by U.S. missile

April 14, 2004

JAKARTA (JP): An ambulance of the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (Mer-C) donated by Indonesia was shot by a missile launched from a U.S. jet fighter in Fallujah, Iraq, killing four people, news reports said on Wednesday.

"The ambulance's driver and three patients who had been evacuated were killed as a missile launched from the U.S. jet fighter hit them. The ambulance was blasted to pieces," Joserizal Jurnalis, the chairman of the Mer-C, told Republika on Tuesday.

Joserizal said the incident occurred last Friday at noon after Abu Ibrahim, the driver who was a Jordanian volunteer for Merc-C, had just evacuated the three victims.

He said that the organization would lodge a strong protest against the U.S. government via the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia.

BBC News, April 14, 2003:

At least 87 US soldiers have died in action this month while aid agencies counted at least 470 Iraqi dead in the Sunni city of Falluja alone last week, with 243 women and 200 children among them.

American troops shoot children in Iraqi demo

Edinburgh Evening News
Tue 29 Apr 2003

UNITED States soldiers shot back at anti-American protesters, hitting at least seven, including three young boys, after being fired on in a town near Baghdad. A local hospital director said 13 people were killed.

The shooting took place on Monday night in the town of Fallujah, about 30 miles west of the capital. Though residents reported 15 deaths, Col. Arnold Bray of the 82nd Airborne Division said seven people in the crowd were hit.

But Dr Ahmed Ghanim al-Ali, director of Fallujah General Hospital, said there were 13 dead, including three boys under 11 years old. He said his medical crews were shot at when they went to retrieve the injured, which he said numbered 75.

Residents said the demonstration was conducted by children and students between the ages of 5 and 20, but Bray said some were armed. "Ask them which kind of schoolboys carry AK-47s," he said.

The troops were headquartered in a schoolhouse, and some of the protesters fired on the building, Bray said.

Arab television channel Al-Jazeera quoted residents as saying the troops opened fire after someone threw a rock at the school. The demonstrators were reportedly protesting against US troops’ presence in the city.

Local Sunni Muslim cleric, Kamal Shaker Mahmoud, said the demonstrators were unarmed students who had gone to the school to ask the troops to leave.

"It was a peaceful demonstration. They did not have any weapons. They were asking the Americans to leave the school so they could use it.

"They opened fire on the protesters because they went out to demonstrate."

Meanwhile the US reacted angrily to suggestions that a Belgian lawyer might sue its Commander in Chief in the Gulf Tommy Franks for war crimes such as the looting of hospitals, firing on an ambulance, and the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

The Bush administration said there would be "diplomatic consequences" for Belgium if it did not block the move.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: "We believe the Belgian government needs to be diligent in taking steps to prevent abuse of the legal system for political ends."

Posted: April 6, 2004 at 2:47 p.m.

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) --

Rocket Attack Kills 26 in Iraq

On the Fallujah front, Marines drove into the center of the Sunni city in heavy fighting before pulling back before nightfall. The assault had been promised after the brutal killings and mutilations of four American civilians there last week. Hospital officials said eight Iraqis died Tuesday and 20 were wounded, including women and children.

Sixteen Iraqis died in battles with US Marines in Fallujah, and at least 26 more – many of them women and children – were killed in a late-night rocket strike by the US military, hospital officials said.

U.S. warplanes firing rockets destroyed four houses in Fallujah after nightfall Tuesday, witnesses said. A doctor said 26 Iraqis, including women and children, were killed and 30 wounded in the strike. The deaths brought to 34 the number of Iraqis killed in Fallujah on Tuesday, including eight who died in street battles earlier in the day.

US troops 'shoot dead two more Iraqis'

The Guardian (UK) George Wright and agencies
Wednesday April 30, 2003

US troops today opened fire on Iraqi civilians for the second time this week as an angry crowd in Falluja protested over an earlier shooting.

A local hospital official said two men had been killed in the incident, both in their late 20s and early 30s. At least eight people were being treated for wounds.