Monday, May 29, 2006
The latest accounts given to The Times paint a gruesome picture of events on November 19. About a quarter of an hour after the attack on Iman’s house, Mohammed Basit, 23, an engineering student, said that he watched as Marines entered the home of his neighbour, Salim Rasif, He peered from a window as the family, including Salim’s wife, sister-in-law and their five children, rushed into a bedroom.Even the editors of the New York Times have been compelled to get the story:
I saw them all gathering in their parents’ room, then we heard a bang which was most likely a hand grenade, then we heard shooting,” he said. Fearing for his life, he moved away from the window.
Throughout the next day the Americans cordoned off Salim and Iman’s homes, which are located about 20 metres apart. The next night Basit and his father slipped inside Salim’s house. “The blood was everywhere in Salim’s bedroom,” Basit said. “I saw organs and flesh on the ground and a liver on the bed. Blood splattered the ceiling. The bullet holes were in the walls and in different parts of the house.
Typically, upon the discovery of corroborating evidence developed by the US military, the Iraqi victims are no longer liars and collaborators with Islamic fundamentalists:
Hiba Abdullah said that after the killings in her father-in-law's home the American troops moved to the house of a neighbor, Younis Salim Nisaif. She said he was killed along with is wife, Aida, and Aida's sister, Huda. She said five children were also killed at that home, all between ages of 10 and 3.
There was one survivor, Safa Younis Salim, 13, who in an interview said she lived by faking her death. "I pretended that I was dead when my brother's body fell on me and he was bleeding like a faucet," she said. She said she saw American troops kick her family members and that one American shouted in the face of one relative before he was killed.
So, again, there is that unanswerable question: why are American troops still in Iraq?
One Haditha victim was an elderly man, close to 80 years old, killed in his wheelchair as he appeared to be holding a Koran, according to the United States defense official, who described information collected during the investigation. An elderly woman was also killed, as were a mother and a child who were "in what appeared to be a prayer position," the official said. Some victims had single gunshot wounds to the head, and at least one home where people were shot to death had no bullet marks on the walls, inconsistent with a clearing operation that would typically leave bullet holes, the official added.