By Kate Randall:
Witnesses, video document massacre in Haditha
US Marines killed Iraqi civilians “in cold blood”
20 May 2006
US Congressman John Murtha said on Wednesday that a Pentagon investigation into the deaths of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last November will show that US Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
Murtha (Democrat, Pennsylvania) was referring to a probe launched into a November 19 incident in which at least 23 civilians—including seven woman and three children—were gunned down by US troops.
Haditha is a predominantly Sunni town 200 kilometers northwest of Baghdad in Anbar province.
From the beginning, Haditha residents have maintained that the victims were deliberately shot at close range by the US soldiers.
The Marines initially claimed that one Marine, Miguel Terrazas, 20, and 15 civilians were killed “from the blast of a roadside bomb.”
Interviews with witnesses to the killings, however—as well as a video shot in their aftermath—contradict this claim and provide a harrowing account of what can only be described as a massacre.
Murtha, a former Marine intelligence officer and Vietnam veteran and the senior Democrat on the House Defense appropriations subcommittee, called last November for the pullout of all US troops from Iraq within six months.
More on Haditha here.