Guess Who Shot and Killed Some More Iraqi Protestors Today?
No, this is not old news. The American military shoots and kills more anti-occupation protestors in the town of Fallujah today, killing 3 this time. This is just two days after a similar shooting that killed 15 and wounded 50 on Monday.
In other news, Gen. Jay Garner tells US troops that they should 'beat their chests' in pride at what they have accomplished in Iraq.
U.S. Troops Kill 3 Iraqis, Rumsfeld In Baghdad
U.S. forces opened fire at anti-occupation protestors again
Additional reporting by Imam El-Leithy, IOL Correspondent
FALLUJAH, Iraq, April 30 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - U.S. troops shot dead three anti-occupation Iraqi demonstrators and wound several others, including two in life-threatening condition, Wednesday, April 30, as U.S. Defense Secretary arrived in Baghdad from Mosul.
U.S. forces opened fired at more than 7,000 anti-occupation Iraqis, a doctor at the general hospital in the Iraqi city of Fallujah told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The demonstrators were rallying against the U.S. presence in the country after 15 Iraqis were killed and about 50 wounded Monday, April 29, when U.S. forces opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators against the U.S. military presence in Falluja.
Today's demonstration was led by the Muslim Brotherhood in its first appearance after the collapse of the Iraqi regime, Al-Jazeera said.
The demonstrators chanted anti-U.S. slogans while U.S. helicopters flew over the city, it said.
On the side of the road, one demonstrator held up a sign that read: "Sooner or later, U.S. killers, we will kick you out."
When asked if he had information on a shooting in the town, Centcom spokesman Stewart Upton said "the soldiers retain the right to defend themselves" but that he was "unable to confirm (a shooting) at this time."
"This was a peaceful demonstration. Religious leaders told us not to be armed. There was no exchange of fire," said Safa Rusli in response to Upton's claim that there were armed Iraqis among the demonstrators.
He said U.S. soldiers riding in jeeps and armored vehicles mounted with guns opened fire after children in the crowd started pelting them with shoes and stones.
"I saw three people shot dead before my own eyes," Rusli said.
Witnesses told AFP other troops on a nearby rooftop then shot into the crowd.
An AFP reporter saw one man whose back had been torn open by a bullet that entered and exited his body.
U.S. Troops Storm IIP Office
Rumsfeld is briefed by British officer Major General Robin Brimms, right, at Basra Airport
In a related development, U.S. troops stormed the headquarters of Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) and searched it upon reports that the party and Iraq's Muslim Brotherhood were behind the Fallujah demonstrations, IslamOnline.net correspondent said.
However, the spokesman for IIP, Mohsen Abdul Hameed said the party has nothing to do with the anti-U.S. protests.
"We support peaceful demonstrations and reject to use violence in view of the current situation, because it is not in Iraq's interest to encourage any precipitous actions," said Abdul Hameed.
"The IIP has nothing to do with the latest incidents (in Fallujah)," he underlined, adding that a number of Baathists, who were celebrating the birthday of toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, ignited the violence.
"As for Wednesday's demonstration, it was triggered by an angry crowd of the families of victims killed by U.S. troops yesterday (Tuesday).
"We call on all (Iraqi) parties to eschew violence and lay down weapons and urge the Americans to respect the feelings of the Iraqi people," he added.
Rumsfeld In Baghdad
Rumsfeld toured Iraq on Wednesday thanking "coalition" troops for toppling Saddam Hussein.
Accompanied by Lieutenant General David McKiernan, commander of the "coalition" ground forces in Iraq, Rumsfeld was met in Basra by Major General Robin Brimm, commander of the British 1st Armoured Division, which controls the region around Iraq's southern capital.
Over coffee and cookies in an airport lounge, Rumsfeld praised Brimm and his troops for what he said was a remarkable military victory.
"What is significant is that large numbers of human beings, intelligent, energetic, have been liberated," AFP quoted Rumsfeld as telling reporters at Basra airfield.
"I'm just very pleased that I could come here and look General Brimm in the eye and tell him what a truly remarkable accomplishment that they have had here."
Brim replied: "We are going to tell the secretary our story of what we've been doing in the Basra and al-Amarah areas."
Rumsfeld, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Iraq following the capture of Baghdad on April 9, landed at the southern capital Basra aboard a special forces MC-130 aircraft.
Rumsfeld's arrival in Iraq comes one day after his announcement of a major pullout of U.S. forces and warplanes from Saudi Arabia in an important strategic shift for the U.S. military in the Middle East in the wake of the war.
Rumsfeld, 70, is on a regional tour that has already taken him to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The last time Rumsfeld visited Baghdad was in December 1983 for a secret meeting with Saddam on a mission that led to closer relations between the United States and Iraq during its 1980-88 war with Iran.
But since joining the cabinet of U.S. President George W. Bush, Rumsfeld became one of Washington's most powerful hawks driving the campaign to topple Saddam and establish a U.S.-friendly government in Baghdad.
AP. 30 April 2003. Americans should beat chests with pride - Garner.
BAGHDAD -- The retired general overseeing Iraq's postwar reconstruction said on Wednesday that his fellow Americans should beat their chests with pride at having toppled Saddam Hussein without destroying the country's assets.
"We ought to be beating our chests every day.
"We ought to look in a mirror and get proud and stick out our chests and suck in ou bellies and say: 'Damn, we're Americans!'," Jay Garner told reporters, saying that Iraq's oil fields and other infrastructure survived the war almost intact.
Garner, who was speaking after talks with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad, took media to task for emphasising anti-American demonstrations and dissent in the wake of the three-week U.S. led war that deposed Saddam.
His comments came after U.S. troops opened fire for the second time this week on an angry crowd protesting against the U.S. presence in the town of Falluja, west of Baghdad.
Iraqi hospital officials said three men were killed in the latest incident. At least 13 died in shooting on Monday.
Garner said the war was fought in a way that prevented Saddam's forces from setting fire to its oilfields and had largely preserved Iraq's infrastructure intact:
"I was planning on the oilfields being torched, a huge humanitarian crisis and a monumental reconstruction task," he said.
"There is no humanitarian crisis... and there's not much infrastructure problem here, other than getting the electrical grid structure back together."
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