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Friday, April 16, 2004



According to Empire Notes, the Iraqi Minister of Health has confirmed that US forces have shot at ambulances:

"At a Ministry of Health press conference on Saturday that none of the Western media was at (al-Iraqiya, the U.S. TV station, was there for the statement but left during questioning, which was the more interesting part). Khudair Abbas, Minister of Health, delivered the statement and took questions. Dahr Jamail, Pratap Chatterjee and my translator from whom I have gotten this report attended the press conference

The Minister was concerned to dispute the numbers on Fallujah -- last I saw, over 700 dead. He said the "official" count based on the Ministry's own tally (using 3 dedicated phone lines to cover the whole country) was 155 dead and 350 injured. Nobody believes this is an accurate tally, including many Marine commanders. But what's interesting is that at the same time he said, between April 5 and 17, in the cities of Baghdad, Najaf, Kerbala, Hilla, and Nasiriyah (all the ones for which they had data), there had been 290 Iraqis killed and 1196 wounded. And this doesn't include known fighting in Basra, Kuta, Amara, Baqubah, and, of course, Fallujah. Of the dead, 11% are children.

During the questions, when asked about shooting at ambulances, Abbas confirmed that U.S. forces shot at ambulances, not only in Fallujah and the approaches to Fallujah, but also in Sadr City. He agreed that the acts were criminal and said he has asked the IGC (Governing Council) and Bremer for an explanation."


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