[Marxism] Mogadishu redux

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 31 10:16:42 MST 2004

5 soldiers, 4 civilian contractors killed in Iraq
Contractors' bodies mutilated, dragged through Fallujah's streets

NBC, MSNBC and news services

Updated: 12:01 p.m. ET March  31, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq - In one of the bloodiest and most horrifying days since 
the end of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, five U.S. troops and four civilian 
contractors — at least three of them Americans — were killed in separate 
attacks in the Sunni Triangle west of Baghdad. After ambushing the 
vehicle carrying the civilian contractors in Fallujah, jubilant Iraqis 
burned and mutilated the dead, then dragged two corpses through the 
streets and hung them from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River.

The brutal treatment of the bodies occurred after the contractors were 
killed in a rebel attack on their two SUVs in the city about 35 miles 
west of Baghdad, scene of some of the worst violence on both sides of 
the conflict since the beginning of the American occupation a year ago.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a briefing in Baghdad that it was not 
known what the coalition contractors were doing in Fallujah — apparently 
without a military escort — when the attack occurred.

A State Department official, who spoke with NBC News on condition of 
anonymity, said that three of the four contractors were Americans. 
Officials were awaiting a positive identification on the fourth victim. 
U.S. officials did not confirm that a woman was among the dead.

Five U.S. troops killed in bombing
The killings of the contractors came shortly after five U.S. troops died 
when their military vehicle ran over a bomb in Malahma, about 12 miles 
to the northwest of Falluhah, among the reed-lined roads through some of 
Iraq’s richest farmland.

Pentagon officials said the victims were from the Army's lst Infantry 
Division, but had no other details on the attack.

The attack in Fallujah  was reminiscent of the 1993 scene in Somalia, 
when a mob dragged the corpse of a U.S. soldier through the streets of 
Mogadishu, eventually leading to the American withdrawal from the 
African nation.

Chanting “Fallujah is the graveyard of Americans,” residents cheered 
after the grisly assault on two four-wheel-drive civilian vehicles, 
which left both in flames. Others chanted, “We sacrifice our blood and 
souls for Islam.”

Associated Press Television News pictures showed one man beating a 
charred corpse with a metal pole. Others tied a yellow rope to a body, 
hooked it to a car and dragged it down the main street of town. Two 
blackened and mangled corpses were hung from a green iron bridge across 
the Euphrates.

“The people of Fallujah hanged some of the bodies on the old bridge like 
slaughtered sheep,” resident Abdul Aziz Mohammed said. Some of the 
corpses were dismembered, he said.

Beneath the bodies, a man held a printed sign with a skull and 
crossbones and the phrase “Fallujah is the cemetery for Americans.”

full: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4551230/

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