What makes this latest massacre tougher for the US military to sweep under the rug is that an Iraqi police report is the source of the information - so, it's semi-official. And a journalist or photographer apparently has some pictures and/or video of the aftermath of this latest massacre:
Iraqi police have accused American soldiers of executing 11 Iraqi civilians, including four children and a six-month-old baby, in a raid on Wednesday near the city of Balad, it was reported yesterday.
The allegations are contained in an Iraqi police report on the killings, obtained and published by the Knight Ridder news agency. The report emerged at a time when a US navy criminal investigation is under way into a previous incident, in November, in which marines are accused of killing 15 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in reprisal for a bomb attack on a US patrol.
So, this most recent massacre occurred in a town called Al Bu Seifa (we've also seen it printed as 'Abu Sifa') - which is just north of Baghdad, near Balad - the closest city. The previously-reported massacre from last year occurred in Haditha:
In last year's Haditha incident, US troops are accused of killing civilians after a bomb attack. An initial marine report on the incident said a roadside bomb on November 19 last year killed a lance corporal and 15 Iraqi civilians. But further investigation revealed that the civilians had been shot with marine weapons after the blast.
Editor & Publisher gives the story more attention.
Original Knight Ridder article here, which includes a translation of the Iraqi police report that includes a list of all crimes taking place in the area - reproduced in full, here:
This is a translation of the Iraqi police report obtained by Knight Ridder, including accounts of events not related to the Ishaqi raid.
In the name of God, the most merciful
This is the morning and afternoon events of 15/3/2006
1. Interior Ministry Operations:
All forces belonging to the Interior Ministry will go on 100 percent alert status starting Wednesday 15/3/2006 until 1000 hours Friday 17/3/2006.
2. Coordination Center of Beji
At 810 gunmen in a white vehicle, duck type (a reference to the local name for a Toyota model) kidnapped the child Mohamed (Badei Khaled) from Samaha school in Beji (map coordinates 617667).
3. Coordination Center of Dujail
At 730 a benzene truck burned near Gassem al Queisy fuel station after one of its tires caught fire. The incident burned the driver (Hamed Abdalilah) and he was transported to the hospital (map coordinates 263519).
4. Coordination Center of Balad
At 230 of 15/3/2006, according to the telegram (report) of the Ishaqi police directorate, American forces used helicopters to drop troops on the house of Faiz Harat Khalaf situated in the Abu Sifa village of the Ishaqi district. The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people, including 5 children, 4 women and 2 men, then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals (map coordinates 098702).
Turkiya Muhammed Ali, 75 years
Faiza Harat Khalaf, 30 years
Faiz Harat Khalaf, 28 years
Um Ahmad, 23 years
Sumaya Abdulrazak, 22 years
Aziz Khalil Jarmoot, 22 years
Hawra Harat Khalaf, 5 years
Asma Yousef Maruf, 5 years
Osama Yousef Maruf, 3 years
Aisha Harat Khalaf, 3 years
Husam Harat Khalaf, 6 months
Fadhil Muhammed Khalaf
Assistant Chief of the Joint Coordination Center
Whether this one particular story is true or not, the true nature of the US occupation of Iraq needs to be known - it's brutal. It's safe to say that these types of US-organized massacres occur daily in Iraq.
My Lai photo from wiki.
UPDATE: Re-reading the police report we were struck by the incident in which a child was abducted from a school by armed men. I mean, imagine you're the parents of that child. Pretty terrifying. Doesn't really mesh well with the wingnut "we're building new schools" argument.