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Central Command: Soldiers acted in self-defense

FALLUJAH, Iraq (CNN) -- Conflicting accounts emerged Tuesday about a clash between the U.S. military and civilians in Iraq that witnesses and Red Cross officials said killed at least 15 Iraqis and wounded up to 53 others.
Central Command: Soldiers acted in self-defense

Tuesday, April 29, 2003 Posted: 11:55 AM EDT (1555 GMT)

FALLUJAH, Iraq (CNN) -- Conflicting accounts emerged Tuesday about a clash between the U.S. military and civilians in Iraq that witnesses and Red Cross officials said killed at least 15 Iraqis and wounded up to 53 others.

The shooting in Fallujah -- a farming community about 40 miles west of Baghdad -- broke out around 10 p.m. Monday (2 p.m. EDT) as demonstrators approached members of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division -- based at an elementary school -- and demanded that they leave, according to a telecommunications engineer.

U.S. Central Command said that the protesters fired on the soldiers with AK-47s and that the soldiers fired back in self-defense.

Some demonstrators told CNN the soldiers fired first; others said residents threw rocks at the troops when tempers flared. (On the Scene: Karl Penhaul)

One U.S. Army sergeant said he shot at what he saw, "and what I saw was targets. Targets with weapons, and they were going to harm me."

"It's either them or me, and I took the shot, sir, and I'm still here talking to you," he said.

A second U.S. soldier said the clash began when some of the protesters started throwing rocks at the soldiers and others started chanting.

"Then others joined in throwing rocks, and others brought weapons to the party," the soldier said. "Then they started firing them -- not just into the air but toward the soldiers on top of the buildings."

The engineer said he's not sure who started shooting first. The confrontation reportedly went on for hours.

The situation at Fallujah is under investigation, Pentagon officials said.

homepage: homepage: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/29/sprj.irq.main/index.html

Re: Central Command 29.Apr.2003 09:08

Gertha

It is sooooo unreasonable to fire on the soldiers of an occupying foreign army!

Souvenir 29.Apr.2003 10:32

Slackboy

I hope our cherub cheeked little storm troopers are having a big time shooting children. It would be challenging because they present smaller targets and move quicker. However, it does appear the challenge was limited, shooting into a crowd and all. Im so glad that our young nazis are going to bring home their very own individual ceramic souvenirs embedded(love that word)in their lungs to remember all those gooooood times. Depleted uranium the gift that keeps giving.

Tienaman Square 29.Apr.2003 11:51

America the Terrible

Some of you panty-waist liberals must be old enough to remember the Chinese massacre in Tienaman square. Now they knew how to do it right. Our efforts at crowd control ain't nothing compared to those folks. But give us a little time. We're not used to this conquering power thing. In a month ot two, we'll have the guys trained up, and we'll be able to slaughter these anti-American demonstrators by the hundreds, just like the Chinese did. Go America. We kick ass.