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Iraq UN envoy says US Marines murdered his cousin

by more blood for oil Sunday, Jul. 03, 2005 at 3:12 AM

And if they do this to their close friends... what in god's name do they do to everyday Iraqi people?

Iraq UN envoy says US Marines murdered his cousin
02 Jul 2005
Source: Reuters

UNITED NATIONS, July 2 (Reuters) - Iraq's U.N. ambassador has accused U.S. Marines of shooting to death in cold blood his unarmed 21-year-old cousin in western Iraq and demanded an immediate investigation.

Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie said Marines killed his first cousin's son, Mohammed al-Sumaidaie, an engineering student, during a June 25 raid of his home in Al-Shaikh Hadid, near a U.S. military base at Haditha Dam.

"All indications point to a killing of an unarmed innocent civilian -- a cold-blooded murder," said Sumaidaie, a Sunni and ally of the United States, on Friday. "The Marines were smiling at each other as they were leaving."

Sumaidaie, in a three-page statement, called for an investigation of the killing, saying outrage over the incident could jeopardize public support for the United States in Iraq.

The U.S. military, in its own statement from Camp Fallujah in Iraq, said the ambassador's charges "roughly correspond to an incident involving coalition forces on that day in that general location."

"We take these allegations seriously and will thoroughly investigate this incident to determine what happened," Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Johnson said.

On Tuesday, 100 Iraqi and 1,000 U.S. troops launched a fresh offensive against insurgents in the Sunni Arab western province of Al-Anbar, focusing along the Euphrates River between the cities of Haditha and Hit, the U.S. military said.

BULLET TO THE NECK

Sumaidaie said insurgents who were not from the area fired mortar rounds at the U.S. base. Then "Americans come and rough up the youths in the village demanding information which they simply do not have," he said.

His accusation was first reported in the London Times.

Mohammed al-Sumaidaie was at his father's house with his mother and other relatives on June 25 when Marines knocked at the door at about 10 a.m. local time, the ambassador said, quoting the young man's mother.

Accompanied by an interpreter, the Marines asked al-Sumaidaie if there were weapons in the house.

Family members last saw him alive when he went to another room to get a rifle that had only blanks in it, the ambassador said.

The younger brother of the dead engineering student was dragged by his hair into a corridor and beaten while the rest of the family was told to wait outside, he said.

When the Marines left the house about an hour later, the interpreter told the mother that her son had been shot and killed, according to Sumaidaie.

He said the family found him dead with a bullet to the neck.

"The mother led off a deafening cry of anguish but the Marines were smiling at each other as they were leaving," Sumaidaie said. "In the bedroom, Mohammed was found dead and laying in a clotted pool of his blood.

"This killing must be investigated in a credible and convincingly fair way to ensure that justice is done," the ambassador said. (Additional reporting by Evelyn Leopold at the United Nations and Charles Aldinger in Washington)
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