We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

'I saw the heads of my two little girls come off'

by Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 7:50 PM

From April 2, 2003 Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Australia

'I saw the heads of my two little girls come off'
April 2 2003, 11:38 AM




An Iraqi mother in a van fired on by US soldiers says she saw her two young daughters decapitated in the incident that also killed her son and eight other members of her family.

The children's father, who was also in the van, said US soldiers fired on them as they fled towards a checkpoint because they thought a leaflet dropped by US helicopters told them to "be safe", and they believed that meant getting out of their village to Karbala.

Bakhat Hassan - who lost his daughters, aged two and five, his three-year-old son, his parents, two older brothers, their wives and two nieces aged 12 and 15, in the incident - said US soldiers at an earlier checkpoint had waved them through.

As they approached another checkpoint 40km south of Karbala, they waved again at the American soldiers.

"We were thinking these Americans want us to be safe," Hassan said through an Army translator at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital set up at a vast Army support camp near Najaf.

The soldiers didn't wave back. They fired.

"I saw the heads of my two little girls come off," Hassan's heavily pregnant wife, Lamea, 36, said numbly.

She repeated herself in a flat, even voice: "My girls - I watched their heads come off their bodies. My son is dead."

US officials originally gave the death toll from the incident as seven, but reporters at the scene placed it at 10. And Bakhat Hassan terrible toll was 11 members of his family.

Hassan's father died at the Army hospital later.

US officials said the soldiers at an Army checkpoint who opened fire were following orders not to let vehicles approach checkpoints.

On Saturday, a suicide bomber had killed four US soldiers outside Najaf.

Details emerging from interviews with survivors of yesterday's incident tell a distressing tale of a family fleeing towards what they thought would be safety, tragically misunderstanding instructions.

Hassan's father, in his 60s, wore his best clothes for the trip through the American lines: a pinstriped suit.

"To look American," Hassan said.

An Army report written last night cited "a miscommunication with civilians" as the cause of the incident.

Hassan, his wife and another of his brothers are in intensive care at the MASH unit.

Another brother, sister-in-law and a seven-year-old child were released to bury the dead.

The Shi'ite family of 17 was packed into a 1974 Land Rover, so crowded that Bakhat, 35, was outside on the rear bumper hanging on to the back door.

Everyone else was piled on one another's laps in three sets of seats.

They were fleeing their farm town southeast of Karbala, where US attack helicopters had fired missiles and rockets the day before.

Helicopters also had dropped leaflets on the town: a drawing of a family sitting at a table eating and smiling with a message written in Arabic.

Sergeant 1st Class Stephen Furbush, an Army intelligence analyst, said the message read: "To be safe, stay put."

But Hassan said he and his father thought it just said: "Be safe".

To them, that meant getting away from the helicopters firing rockets and missiles.

His father drove. They planned to go to Karbala. They stopped at an Army checkpoint on the northbound road near Sahara, about 40km south of Karbala, and were told to go on, Hassan said.

But "the Iraqi family misunderstood" what the soldiers were saying, Furbush said.

A few kilometres later, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle came into view. The family waved as it came closer. The soldiers opened fire.

Hassan remembers an Army medic at the scene of the killings speaking Arabic.

"He told us it was a mistake and the soldiers were sorry," Hassan said.

"They believed it was a van of suicide bombers," Furbush said.

Hassan, his wife, his father and a brother were airlifted to the MASH unit.

Three doctors and three nurses worked on the father for four hours but he died despite their efforts.

Today, Hassan and his wife remain at the unit. He has staples in his head. She has a mangled hand and shrapnel in her face and shoulder.

Major Scott McDannold, an anaesthesiologist, said Hassan's brother, lying nearby, wouldn't make it. He is on a respirator with a broken neck.

On March 16, Hassan and his family began to harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and eggplant. It was a healthy crop, and they expected a good year.

"We had hope," he said. "But then you Americans came to bring us democracy and our hope ended."

Lamea is nine months pregnant.

"It would be better not to have the baby," she said.

"Our lives are over."

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 31 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
GOD PLEASE FORGIVE US... Peace Seeker Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 7:54 PM
AMERICAN SWINES SADDAM Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 8:21 PM
people being tortured and killed for days in my prison. Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 8:31 PM
Sheepdog SADDAM Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 8:37 PM
And then there is the... Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 8:44 PM
Sheepdog Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 9:07 PM
Catdog JA Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 9:14 PM
JA Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 9:34 PM
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST What the Fuck is WRONG with You People????? Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 9:41 PM
What the Fuck is WRONG with You People????? Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 9:51 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:02 PM
Fake posts Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:03 PM
Simple Simon Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:03 PM
Fake Posts Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:05 PM
The above post Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:06 PM
The above post Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:10 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:11 PM
Sheepdog Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:20 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:22 PM
Diogenes Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:23 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:24 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:25 PM
Simple Simon Simon's girlfriend Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:40 PM
PLEA-SAH, STOP THE BULLSHIT GMAFB Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 10:48 PM
Choose one archie Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 11:10 PM
This is head Alan Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 12:55 AM
PLEA-SAH, STOP THE BULLSHIT GMAFB Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 2:30 PM
Simple Simple Simon Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:16 PM
J'Accuse Emile Zola Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:29 PM
J'Accuse Emile Zola Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:42 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy