Paper: Photos convince investigators that Marines 'executed' Iraqi civilians

RAW STORY
Published: Saturday May 27, 2006

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Photographic evidence has convinced investigators that Marines 'executed' Iraqi civilians after a roadside bomb attack last November, according to an article in Saturday's LA Times.

Also, The Independent is reporting that one of the Marines used a mobile phone to take "horrific photographs" of the alleged massacre. The British newspaper also reports that the US troops could be facing the death penalty.

Excerpts from the LA Times article:

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Photographs taken by a Marine intelligence team have convinced investigators that a Marine unit killed as many as 24 unarmed Iraqis, some of them "execution-style," in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha after a roadside bomb killed an American in November, officials close to the investigation said Friday.

The pictures are said to show wounds to the upper bodies of the victims, who included several women and six children. Some were shot in the head and some in the back, congressional and defense officials said.

One government official said the pictures showed that infantry Marines from Camp Pendleton "suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership, with tragic results."

The case may be the most serious incident of alleged war crimes in Iraq by U.S. troops. Marine officers have long been worried that Iraq's deadly insurgency could prompt such a reaction by combat teams.

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FULL RESTRICTED LA TIMES ARTICLE HERE

Excerpts from The Independent article:

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US Marines could face the death penalty after one of their number took horrific photographs of a massacre in Iraq on his mobile phone, The Independent on Sunday has learned.

The photographs, seized by the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), show many victims shot at close range in the head and chest, execution-style, according to sources who have seen them. One image shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer. Both have been shot dead.

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Eyewitness accounts by local people and a video shot by an Iraqi journalism student had already called into question the Marines' version of events in Haditha just over six months ago. But the photographs by American forces could prove the crucial piece of evidence in an investigation that is now expected to result in charges of murder, dereliction of duty and making false statements against up to a dozen Marines.

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FULL INDEPENDENT ARTICLE HERE




 
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