News and opinions on situation in Iraq
08/04/04 US kills hundreds of Iraqis
US kills hundreds of Iraqis in effort to deal with insurgency Many fighters and at least 45 civilians were killed in the bombing of a mosque in Falluja by the Americans

Juanma Sarasola

With the ongoing Shia insurgency numerous attacks and clashes took place throughout Iraq yesterday. Both Sunni and Shia fighters were attacking the occupation forces all day. The death toll over the last few days has reached the hundreds with hundreds more wounded. Since the US-led occupation forces have been trying to arrest the Shia leader Moqtada Sadr, they have been met with fierce resistance in the Shia towns and neighbourhoods of Iraq. Washington announced yesterday that they would “destroy” the Mehdi Army made of up Sadr’s fighters. In a similar vein George Bush said the United States would remain “firm” in Iraq, despite all the attacks.

The US Army not only targeted the Sunni or Shia resistance –until now there has been little armed Shia resistance against the occupying forces– they also attacked civilians. American soldiers fired rockets at the Abdul-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque in Falluja yesterday during prayers. That left 45 dead and another 65 wounded.

The invaders have encountered fierce resistance in Falluja and have been struggling to quell it during the last few days particularly. The fighting early yesterday morning left at least 52 Iraqis dead and about 100 wounded. Moreover, the Iraqi fighters attacked and brought down a US helicopter. It is not known whether there were victims.

Two Iraqi police officers were killed in the town of Jussifia near Baghdad yesterday allegedly by resistance fighters. At the same time, American troops killed two Iraqis and injured four in the Sadr City quarter of the capital known as Madinat Al Sadr in Arabic.

In Nasiriya Italian troops killed 15 Iraqi fighters and wounded many others. In Karbala the occupying forces shot five Iranian pilgrims and three Iraqis after they appeared to have passed a road check-point. It later transpired that the town’s Shia leader had also been killed. In Balad, 100 km to the north of Baghdad, insurgents killed an American soldier and wounded another one.

The resistance brought down a US helicopter in Baqubah. The office of the pro-Washington governor was also attacked.

In Ar Ramadi 16 Iraqi children and 8 Iraqi women were killed in attacks by the occupying forces. 12 US soldiers were killed in attacks in the city the day before yesterday.

In the Southern city of Kut the fighting between the Mehdi Army militias and the occupying forces left 12 Iraqis dead and 20 wounded. A British mercenary was also killed. The attacks by Shia militias in the city also forced the Ukrainian soldiers based there to withdraw.

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