Thursday, August 18, 2005

Death squads in Baghdad -- over 1100 dead in July?

Recirculated from 'The Independent'. The article is quite badly written. It sounds like these are largely revenge killings, possibly by Shia and Baathist hit squads, but the author confuses this mayhem with blast victims and occopation force victims.
Secrets of the morgue: Baghdad's body count

... July was the bloodiest month in Baghdad’s modern history - in all, 1,100 bodies were brought to the city’s mortuary; executed for the most part, eviscerated, stabbed, bludgeoned, tortured to death. The figure is secret.

We are not supposed to know that the Iraqi capital’s death toll last month was only 700 short of the total American fatalities in Iraq since April of 2003. Of the dead, 963 were men - many with their hands bound, their eyes taped and bullets in their heads - and 137 women.

... in just 36 hours - from dawn on Sunday to midday on Monday, 62 Baghdad civilians had been killed. No Western official, no Iraqi government minister, no civil servant, no press release from the authorities, no newspaper, mentioned this terrible statistic...

... Mortuary officials have been appalled at the sadism visited on the victims. "We have many who have obviously been tortured - mostly men," one said. "They have terrible burn marks on hands and feet and other parts of their bodies. Many have their hands fastened behind their backs with handcuffs and their eyes have been bound with Sellotape. Then they have been shot in the head - in the back of the head, the face, the eyes. These are executions."...

... It is clear that death squads are roaming the streets of a city which is supposed to be under the control of the US military and the American-supported, elected government of Ibrahim al-Jaafari...
I would like to see some other validation of these numbers. Baghdad is a very populous city however, and there is a lot of revenge to be sated. It's not immediately clear what to do about this; I don't think more military force would help.

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