Iraq to investigate alleged massacre in Haditha

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006 The Iraqi government is to launch a formal investigation into claims that United States Marines murdered civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in November 2005.

Insignia of the US Marine Corps.

In an interview with the BBC, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said: "It is not justifiable that a family is killed because someone is fighting terrorists." and speaking to the Reuters news agency, said "We will hold those who did it responsible."

Following the announcement, on Tuesday, May 30, the White House spokesman Tony Snow said they would make the details of the US investigation into the incident public.

Initial reports from the Pentagon stated the gun battle that ended in 15 civilian casualties, as well as 8 terrorist deaths, was a fight with militants.

Eyewitness reports claim that US Marines went house to house gunning down innocent men, women, and children without cause or provocation. The Wall Street Journal reports that there is evidence to support these claims.

Lance Corporal Roel Ryan Briones of Hanford, California, who was in Haditha on that day, told the Los Angeles Times, "They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I'll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood."

While some politicians sounded a note of caution that not all facts are yet known for conclusions to be drawn, John Murtha, a Democratic Congressman, said in an interview with CNN "It is as bad as Abu Ghraib, if not worse."

The United States President, George W. Bush, is said to have learned of the Haditha incident from a journalist earlier this year and has already had a briefing on it from his national security advisor, Stephen Hadley.


Wikipedia Learn more about the Haditha massacre on Wikipedia.