Daily Life in Iraq

It continues to be a nightmare owing in large part to the American presence.

Locals Accuse U.S. of Massacre in Ramadi
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

RAMADI, Nov 17 (IPS) – U.S. military tank fire killed scores of civilians in Ramadi, capital of Al-Anbar province, late Monday night, according to witnesses and doctors. Anger and frustration were evident at the hospitals and during the funerals in the following days.

Iraqi doctors and witnesses at the scene of the attack said U.S. tanks killed 35 civilians when they shelled several homes in the Al-Dhubat area of the city.

Ramadi, located 110 km west of Baghdad, has been beset with sporadic but intense violence between occupation forces and insurgents for several months.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people carried the 35 coffins of the dead to a graveyard in a funeral procession which closely resembled an angry demonstration.

“We heard the bombing and we thought it was the usual fighting between resistance fighters and the Americans, but we soon realised it was bombing by large cannons,” 60-year-old Haji Jassim explained to IPS at the burial. “We weren’t allowed by the Americans to reach the destroyed houses to try to rescue those who were buried, so certainly many of them bled to death.”

Jassim claimed that everyone killed was innocent, that they were not fighters. He said that when he and others attempted to reach the rubble of the destroyed homes, located near mosques whose minaret’s loudspeakers had broadcast pleas for help, “There was a big American force that stopped us and told us the usual ugly phrases we hear from them every day.”

Jassim, speaking with IPS while several other witnesses listened while nodding their heads, said that ambulances did not appear on the scene for hours because “we realised that the Americans did not allow them to move,” and that as a result, “there were people buried under the rubble who were bleeding to death while there was still a chance to rescue them.”

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