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 Thursday, April 10, 2003



Civilian Casualty Update


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LATEST Shia leader Abdul Majid Al Khoei assassinated in central Iraq city of Najaf .Al-Khoei's nephew, Jawad al-Khoei, told Reuters from the Iranian holy city of Qom that Abdul Majid was stabbed to death at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, one of the holiest shrines for Shi'ite Muslims.

Large numbers of non-Iraqi Arab fighters took to the streets resisting the US forces in several areas. The volunteer fighters were in control of several Baghdad streets in the Adhamiya district, where a mosque is located, and also in the nearby Waziriya district. Fighters said to be non-Iraqi Arabs were manning checkpoints and patrolling the area. They were also out in force on the streets of the Mansur district west of the Tigris river, close to the Iraqi intelligence service headquarters. Invading troops were nowhere to be seen in Mansur. There was also no sign of Iraqi forces. Arab fighters appeared to be putting up the main resistance to the 15,000 US troops in the city. Thousands of volunteers from across the Muslim world are reported to be in Iraq. Ahead of the war, an audio tape from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden exhorted Muslims to fight US forces. In southwest Baghdad, after a heavy bout of fighting, the bodies of at least 21 Iraqis were found. The victims seemed a mix of soldiers and civilians. Eyewitnesses said the deaths were a direct result of the fighting, and that US soldiers had removed many more bodies.

Around 20 bodies and burnt-out cars littered the streets of the southwestern Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Dora on Thursday, an AFP photographer reported.Bodies, including those of children, were still strewn over the road between Al-Dora and the international airport, which is under the control of US forces.The putrid, fly-covered corpses were being buried in a mass grave along the side of the road by volunteers whose noses were covered with scarves agaisnt the stench, according to the photographer.Some of the corpses were in or under the charred vehicles. Dead children lay on the side of the road, covered in sheets.

US Marines were involved in fierce gun battles with elements of Iraq's Republican Guard on the banks of the river Tigris in Baghdad today.The battle started around one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces and then moved on to a mosque where it was thought Saddam may have been hiding.BBC journalists reported heavy machine gun and mortar fire during which one marine was killed by shrapnel and up to 20 others injured. They also reported 'hit and run' attacks by Iraqi militiamen on US troops in the Baghdad suburbs.

Baghdad remained fraught with peril Thursday as US troops attempted to secure the Iraqi capital.Troops convoys are facing sporadic attacks from snipers and small resistance forces. Gun battles along the Tigris River and around the presidential palace persist while marines continue to hone-in on the city centre.

Bands of non-Iraqi Arab fighters are reported to be putting up heavy resistance to the US military presence in Baghdad with fierce clashes reported in the western half of the Iraqi capital. Reuters correspondent Khaled Yacoub Oweis saw several explosions as US planes swooped over the Mansur district in west Baghdad. He said Arab fighters were in control of streets in Mansur and other districts in the west of the city as well as Aadhamiya and Waziriya in the north . They were manning checkpoints and US troops were nowhere to be seen.

With no television or electricity, Iraqis failed to receive the TV messages US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair tried to send them Thursday, AFP reporters said.

The German embassy and the French cultural centre in Baghdad were sacked by looters Thursday, an AFP photographer witnessed.The embassy in Karada Street and the cultural centre in Abu Nawwas Street, both in central Baghdad, were entered by dozens of people who set about seizing everything they could find.

When the fighting ends, who will have the legal authority to sell Iraqi oil? An American-backed authority with no international mandate? Or an authority with the blessing of France, Russia, China, Britain and the United States, the permanent members of the Security Council?At the moment, the United Nations is effectively the trustee of Iraqi oil assets, including the $2.9 billion in oil money currently in a United Nations-controlled escrow fund and the eight million to nine million barrels of oil filling the storage tanks at Ceyhan, a Turkish port on the Mediterranean.

US-backed Kurdish forces have captured the northern Iraqi oil capital of Kirkuk, British and Turkish television reported on Thursday, with the Turkish report saying that looting had broken out in the city.

It is in Tikrit, on a rocky spur overlooking the nearby Tigris river, that Saddam sited his largest and most ostentatious palace.Even if he is dead, his clansmen around Tikrit may try to hold out, for no other reason than a deep and justified fear of the vengeance their fellow Iraqis may wreak now that Saddam's protection has been lifted.

US marines came under heavy fire in Baghdad Thursday from fighters loyal to Saddam Hussein,one day after US forces swept into the capital.Reports of the pre-dawn clashes, which left one US soldier dead, came as a series of loud blasts rang out in Baghdad, waking the city's residents on the first day in more than two decades free of the Iraqi leader's iron-fisted rule.

Talal and the 20 other Arab combatants were mostly bitter at Baghdad's spectacular fall without little fight from the Iraqis themselves. "We came here because we all believed that we should rally to the defense of Baghdad, the fortress of the Arab and Muslim world standing strong against the American-Zionist imperialist expansion," he said.Talal and his former comrades-in-arms were still stunned by the way the Iraqi forces took their light arms from them on Thursday, he said, and told them: "The war is over, just go home.""We still do not understand what exactly happened," he said.

The US Department of Defense has announced that, as of this past Wednesday, the US lost 101 servicemen killed during the war in Iraq. According to information reaching here on Thursday, the Pentagon announcement also said that 399 US servicemen had been wounded, 11 reported missing, and another seven had been taken prisoner.

Eye Witness Sees 700 Coalition Bodies Bagged And Frozen: Russian website received following letter saying it is " rather unsettling. We can not verify the report you are about to read however there have been several similar news reports coming out of the UK and Pakistan about similar events that lead us to believe this eye witness account may have some credibility. The letter has been corrected for spelling and grammar."
Dear Sir,

I work as a nurse in major hospital in Kuwait and in the last 5 days, things have gone wild here. A very big area of the hospital have been isolated and packed with mobile freezers. First I thought that this was to prepare us as a battle hospital then the freezers started coming in by huge trailers after 2 am in the morning. These trailers come to this isolated area under the guise of food and medical supplies.

The shocking news is that I am a witness to what I am about to say because the clean room for my endoscope operating theatre is a little room with small windows that lays exactly on the top of this isolated area. The news I am about to tell you is true and MAY GOD BE MY WITTNESS.

I counted at least 700 American or British bodies been carried away in these freezers after tagging them and putting them in purple bags that we use here in the hospital for hazardous waste. Two of these mobile freezers have been removed from the area by big helicopter after they were filled.

Last night the hospital manager asked that our division (that can see everything from our room) be transferred to another nearby clinic and currently all our endoscope procedures are on hold until we receive further instructions.

I can not tell you my name. (source: )

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