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10/26/2004

Executed Soldiers

Yesterday it was reported that Zarqawi claimed responsibility the massacre of 50 Iraqi security forces. According to multiple reports, Allawi has credited "great negligence on the part of some coalition forces" for the massacres. See also BBC, AP, Middle East Online.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more on the likely involvement of infiltrators, as well as the insurgent trageting of Iraqi security forces. Allawi has "ordered an urgent investigation" into the infiltration.

Update, 10/28/04, 7:21 PM EST: Knight Ridder:

In giving new information about the ambush, a senior Iraqi Defense Ministry official seemed to be trying to defuse any tension between the United States and interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over Allawi's statement Tuesday that the ambush "was the outcome of major neglect by some parts of the multinational (forces)."

"The dead national guardsmen are the negligent ones," said the senior official, who asked that his name not be used. He said the guardsmen had taken a shortcut through a dangerous road they should have avoided, and he claimed they left a day earlier than scheduled. "They refused to wait another day for us to provide them security to escort them back to Baghdad," he said.

The U.S. command in Iraq has limited its response to a terse statement, and refused to directly address Allawi's unusually harsh criticism.

"This was a cold-blooded and systematic massacre by terrorists," the statement read. "They and no one else must be held fully accountable for these heinous acts."

 

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