Iraqis say U.S. bombing killed 39 civilians

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Monday, October 17, 2005

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American helicopters and warplanes bombed 2 villages near Ramadi, Iraq on Sunday. The U.S. military said nearly 70 suspected insurgents were killed, while local witnesses said that at least 39 civilians, including 18 children, were also lost to the attack.

A Ramadi resident, Ahmed Fouad, said that just after 7 p.m. Sunday, U.S. warplanes killed 18 children, including Fouad's son and 8-year-old daughter. "She was killed with her brother. Her mother had a stroke out of shock." Fouad said.

Family members of victims gathered at a Ramadi General Hospital where refrigeration space for the dead bodies had been exhausted. In the garden the bodies of a woman and three children lay as relatives sifted through remains.

"[They] were not terrorists...they were only a bunch of civilians whose curiosity prompted them to gather around a destroyed Humvee," said Dr. Dhiya Fahdawi in reference to the dead and wounded.

The U.S. military neither confirmed nor denied that civilians were killed and issued a statement saying; "All the attacks were timed and executed in a manner to reduce the possibility of collateral damage."

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