Did An Iraqi Soldier Kill US Troops for Kicking a Pregnant Woman?
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Yesterday there were a flurry of reports about an Iraqi soldier shooting and killing two US soldiers during a joint mission. Reported as the first time this has happened, the reports in the American press may tell only half the story.
The rather startled reports repeated assertions that the attack was for " reasons unknown ." Iraqi reports say the US soldiers were kicking a pregnant Iraqi woman when shot. Here's what we've been able to learn so far.
On December 26, two American soldiers were killed during a "joint Iraqi-U.S. patrol undertaking security duty in al-Haramat area, western Mosul."
The Multinational Force press office initially reported these deaths on December 28:
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Dec. 26 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during dismounted combat operations.
Yesterday the MNF changed the story, releasing a new statement:
Two US Soldiers killed during a combined Iraqi Army and CF operation in Ninewah province on Dec. 26, were allegedly shot by an Iraqi Soldier.
For reasons that are as yet unknown, at least one Iraqi Army Soldier allegedly opened fire ... The incident occurred as US and Iraqi Army Soldiers were conducting operations to establish a combat outpost. Three other US Soldiers and one civilian interpreter were wounded in the attack.
The Iraqi Soldier who allegedly opened fire fled the scene but was identified by other Iraqi Army personnel and was then apprehended. Two Iraqi Army Soldiers are More...now being held in connection with the incident.
Coalition and Iraqi investigations into the incident are underway.
The AP reported on the new version - but did not mention that the MNF had previously given a very different account and repeats Green Zone government claims that:
Initial results from an Iraqi investigation indicate that the soldier who opened fire may have links to local militants, said Brig. Mutaa Habib Jassim al-Khazrachi, commander of the Iraqi army's 2nd Division, who did not elaborate.
They leave out the part of the story which is capturing attention in Iraq.