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|Robert Fisk: What is Happening Is An Absolute Slaughter Every Night of Iraqi People
As the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq approaches 300, we go to Baghdad to hear from London Independent reporter Robert Fisk on the virtually unreported number of Iraqis killed in feuds, looting, revenge killings and raids by U.S. troops.
The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq stands close to 300. While figures of U.S. troops killed or wounded in Iraq are widely disclosed, the number of Iraqis killed or wounded are unknown.
In an article last Sunday, Robert Fisk of the London Independent writes:
In Iraq there are thousands of incidents of violence that never get reported; attacks on Americans that cost civilian lives are not even recorded by the occupation authority press officers unless they involve loss of life among "coalition forces". Go to the mortuaries of Iraq's cities and it's clear that a slaughter occurs each night. Occupation powers insist that journalists obtain clearance to visit hospitals - it can take a week to get the right papers, if at all, so goodbye to statistics - but the figures coming from senior doctors tell their own story.
In Baghdad, up to 70 corpses - of Iraqis killed by gunfire - are brought to the mortuaries each day. In Najaf, for example, the cemetery authorities record the arrival of the bodies of up to 20 victims of violence a day. Some of the dead were killed in family feuds, in looting, or revenge killings. Others have been gunned down by US troops at checkpoints or in the increasingly vicious "raids" carried out by American forces in the suburbs of Baghdad and the Sunni cities to the north.
If you count the Najaf dead as typical of just two or three other major cities, and if you add on the daily Baghdad death toll and multiply by seven, almost 1,000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week - and that may well be a conservative figure.