Al-Jazeera shows grisly pictures of dead Iraqis
March 22, 2003
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Al-Jazeera television, quoting Iraqi medics, say that 50
people have been killed in U.S. bombing around the southern Iraqi city of
Basra and it has aired grisly footage of dead and wounded civilians. Among
the scenes, beamed across the Arab the world by the Qatar-based satellite
channel, were a child with the back of its head blown off -- it was unclear
if it was a boy or a girl -- and bloodied people being treated on the floor
of a hospital.
"It's a huge mass of civilians," one angry woman told al-Jazeera,
among the wounded. "It was a massacre."
The report could not be independently confirmed. U.S. and British forces
have been in action around Basra. U.S. Marines defeated Iraqi forces in a
battle on the outskirts of the city on Saturday, and took many prisoners, a
U.S. officer said. It was not immediately clear who controlled Basra and
there was no other immediate confirmation of the bombings.
Asked about whether U.S.-led forces had bombed Basra, a military spokesman
in Qatar declined comment, saying: "That is considered an ongoing operation
and until it is over we're not going to go out there one way or another on
U.S. and British forces say they are intent on keeping civilian casualties
to a minimum in their war to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Jazeera quoted hospital sources as saying a total of 50 people were
killed -- including one entire family and a Russian citizen -- when U.S.
F-16 warplanes planes bombed the city.
Iraq says 62 killed, over 400 wounded in past day
BAGHDAD, March 24 (Reuters) - Iraq's information minister said on Monday that 62 Iraqis had been killed by U.S.-led forces in the previous 24 hours and more than 400 had been wounded.
Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf gave the figures at a news conference, breaking them down by city. In Baghdad, 194 people had been wounded in bombing but none had been killed. The most deaths were 30 in Babel, south of Baghad, and 14 in Basra.
He said there were also deaths and injuries in the southern towns of Najaf and Kerbala, in the southern province Qadisiya and in the northern provinces of Ninawa and Salah ad Din.
"They insist to strike civilian areas in a criminal manner and those evil people believe that by expanding their war crimes they can weaken us. They are not only criminals, but idiots, for believing that," Sahaf said.
The United States and Britian launched war on Iraq on Thursday to overthrow
President Saddam Hussein for his alleged weapons of mass destruction. Baghdad
denies it has such arms.
Syria Claims US Missile Strike Deaths
.c The Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - A U.S. missile hit a passenger bus carrying Syrian civilians fleeing the war in Iraq, killing five and injuring 10, Syria's official news agency reported Monday.
The agency reported that the air-to-surface missile hit the bus Sunday morning in Iraq close to the Syrian border.
A U.S. Central Command spokeswoman had no information on the report. She said, however, that U.S. forces do not target civilians and that they fire very carefully, using precision-guided missiles against select military targets.
The Syrian agency said the wounded were taken to a Syrian hospital on the border with Iraq while the dead were sent to a hospital on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus. Officials reported that relatives had retrieved the bodies.
Syria, which strongly opposes the U.S.-led war on Iraq, has repeatedly called for a peaceful solution of the Iraq-U.S. dispute over Baghdad's weapons arsenal.
Meanwhile, four Iraqi diplomats and their families arrived in Damascus on Monday after neighboring Jordan expelled them over the weekend, the Syrian agency reported.
They were among five diplomats expelled for actions ``incompatible'' with
their diplomatic duties. Jordan said the expulsions - the first of Iraqi
officials by an Arab state - were ordered for ``security'' reasons.
03/24/03 05:00 EST
Al-Jazeera airs footage allegedly of captured American troops in Iraq
Sun, Mar 23, 2003
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer DOHA, Qatar - Arab television on Sunday aired Iraqi footage of purported dead Americans, some sprawled in a room, and interviews with five, seemingly tense U.S. prisoners.
U.S. officials confirmed that about 10 soldiers had been killed up to 12 soldiers were missing after a double ambush near the southern city of An Nasiriyah.
The casualties and the interviews with four men and a woman were broadcast by the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera with footage from state-controlled Iraqi television. Each was interviewed individually and gave their names and their home states. They spoke with American accents into a microphone labeled "Iraqi Television."
One prisoner identified herself as Shauna, 30, from Texas. Her eyes darted back and forth as she was interviewed and she held her arms tightly in her lap as she was questioned.
At one point, the camera panned back, showing that a massive white bandage wrapped around her ankle. Her voice was very shaky. One prisoner, who said he was from El Paso, Texas, stared directly at the camera and spoke in a clear direct voice, often shaking his head and cupping his ear slightly to try to indicate that he couldn't hear one of several questions being shot at him from around the room.
The footage said the American soldiers were captured during fighting around Nasiriyah, a major crossing point over the Euphrates River northwest of Basra.
Shauna also said she was from the 507th Maintenance. There are 507th Maintenance companies both in the Air Force and Army. The prisoners looked scared. One captive, who said he was from Kansas, answered all his questions in a shaky voice, his eyes darting back and forth between and interviewer and another person who couldn't be seen on camera.
Asked why he came to Iraq, he simply replied "I come to fix broke stuff."
Prodded again by the interviewer, he was asked if he came to shoot Iraqis.
"No I come to shoot only if I am shot at," he said. "They (Iraqis) don't bother me, I don't bother them."
Another prisoner said only: "I follow orders." A voice off-camera asked "how many officers" were in his unit. "I don't know sir," the man replied.
Iraqi TV attempted to interview a wounded man lying down, at one point trying to cradle his head so it would hold steady for the camera.
U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that American prisoners of war be treated humanely by Iraq. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher appeared Sunday night on Al-Jazeera to denounce the Iraqis for showing TV footage of the American prisoners and dead.
"They have showed gruesome pictures of prisoners of war in violation of the Geneva Convention," he said. "We have more than 2,000 Iraqi prisoners and we treat them according to the Geneva conventions."
Iraqi prisoners - many of whom surrendered - have been shown regularly on American television and in U.S. newspaper photos.
In Cairo, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said the casualties were proof the Iraqi military would fight. "What happened today showed that we're not surrendering easily. It is proof we're strong and it is not an easy invasion."
Showing the television footage may have been Iraq's way of testing America's resolve in the war. In Somalia in 1993, American audiences were outraged by images of Somali crowds dragging the bodies of American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu: U.S. troops were pulled out of Somalia shortly after the incident.
U.S. television networks, however, hesitated to show the pictures.
A snippet of the POW footage was shown on CBS, shortly after it was received from Al-Jazeera. The network held off from showing it again after the Pentagon asked for time to contact the families of the soldiers involved.
Associated Press Television News, which distributes video to broadcasters all over the world, planned to transmit images of the POWs when the Defense Department said their families had been notified, said Nigel Baker, APTN's director of content.
An unknown group of U.S. soldiers have been captured by Iraqi forces. The U.S. mainstream media has not shown footage of the event, even though they have shown footage of Iraqi POWs.
Apparently there are five U.S. soldiers captured, and an unknown number of dead U.S. soldiers.
Injured U.S. soldier in Iraqi hands. -- Al Jazeera
Same Injured U.S. soldier in Iraqi hands. -- Al Jazeera