UN gave US information on Iraq massacre: leak



BAGHDAD, W.G. Dunlop- A UN special rapporteur gave information to Washington indicating its forces summarily executed 10 Iraqis, among them four women and five children, in a 2006 raid, a leaked US diplomatic cable says.
According to the April 2006 cable, which details a letter from Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, US forces executed 10 members of an Iraqi family at their home in Balad north of Baghdad, after which an air strike destroyed the house.



"I have received various reports indicating that at least 10 persons... were killed during the raid" on March 15, 2006, Alston wrote, according to the cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks last week.
Alston wrote that, according to information he had, "American troops" approached the home of Fayez Harrat al-Majmai, a farmer in Balad in Salaheddin province, early on March 15, and shots were apparently fired from the house.
"A confrontation ensued for some 25 minutes. The MNF (Multi-National Force) troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them."
"After the initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that destroyed the house," Alston wrote, adding that the MNF had confirmed that an air raid took place in Balad on March 15, causing "an unconfirmed number of casualties."
Autopsies carried out at a morgue at Tikrit Hospital showed that all of the dead had been handcuffed and shot in the head, Alston wrote.
He said the dead were a man and his wife, their three children -- aged five, three and five months, the husband's mother and sister, his nephew and niece -- aged five and three -- and another visiting female relative.
"The US military attacked the house to capture members of Mr Fayez Harrat Al-Majmai's family on the basis that they were allegedly involved in the killing of two MNF soldiers who were killed between 6 to 11 March 2006," Alston wrote.
The US military was quoted in media reports as saying that soldiers had attacked the house to capture "a foreign fighter facilitator for the Al-Qaeda network," according to Alston.
He also noted reports that "there have been a significant number of lethal incidents in which the MNF is alleged to have used excessive force" over the preceding five months.
International troops in Iraq, most of whom were American soldiers, were known as the "Multi-National Force-Iraq" at the time. But Alston specifically said that US forces carried out the raid, though he also called them "MNF."
According to figures from the independent website www.icasualties.org, 703 US soldiers were killed in Iraq in 2006.
Salaheddin was the third-deadliest province for American forces in Iraq after Baghdad and Anbar, according to www.icasualties.org.
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Thursday, September 1st 2011
W.G. Dunlop
           


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