Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

US misrepresents combat in Samarra, kills and wounds numerous civilians.

According to reporters on the scene, US claims of killing 54 "pro-Saddam Fedayeen" in Samarra are untrue and that the victims of the combat are primarily Iraqi civilians.

Local hospital director Abed Tawfiq told AFP "more than 60 people wounded by gunfire and shrapnel from US rounds are being treated at the hospital." Hospital employee Bassem Ibrahim said "we received the bodies of eight civilians, including a woman and a child".

"There was an attack and an exchange of fire between the Americans and the resistance lasting half an hour. The resistance withdrew, then bombardments started using all manner of weapons in all directions and without any discrimination," said the town's police chief Colonel Ismail Mahmud Mohammed.

Mohammed claims about 20 of the wounded sustained their injuries while worshipping at the Al-Shafii mosque during sunset prayers. The mosque was damaged and many of its windows shattered during the combat.

AFP correspondents saw a civilian bus completely burned out 30 metres from the main entrance to the town's hospital. They were also shown two Iranian passports said to belong to pilgrims on the bus who were killed enroute to a local mausoleum of a Shiite authority. Nine other Iranian pilgrims on the bus were wounded, a local police guard claimed.

Workers at the State Enterprise for the Manufacture of Drugs and Medical Equipment said at least two colleagues were killed and many wounded as they walked out of the factory gates at the end of their shift and a US tank opened fire in all directions.

The BBC's Peter Greste, reporting from the city, says burned out cars are scattered through the streets, and buildings are riddled with bullet holes. He says there is an unmistakeable sense of anger among local people - who say the US response to the attacks was indiscriminate and unnecessary.

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