[Marxism] Mogadishu redux
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
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 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.”
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