U.S. Denies Ishaqi Murder Claim

The second in the current trifecta of civilian murder claims against American troops is an incident that occurred in the town of Ishaqi on March 15. Apparently there is no doubt that civilians were killed; their number and the circumstances of their death are disputed.

I believe Ishaqi is the incident where Sunni insurgents gave the BBC photos of a number of bodies to support the claim that there had been an atrocity. The insurgents’ hypocrisy is a little hard to take, since murdering innocent civilians is pretty much their stock in trade. In any event, ABC News says that the U.S. military denies the allegations relating to Ishaqi, and a spokesman will soon be making a public statement:

Horrific images of Iraqi adults and children have fueled new allegations that U.S. troops killed civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi. But ABC News has learned military officials have completed their investigation and concluded U.S. forces followed the rules of engagement.

A senior Pentagon official told ABC News the investigation concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by American forces are unfounded.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell will make a statement about the Ishaqi allegations today in Baghdad, ABC News has learned.

UPDATE: Here is more, confirming that a military investigation cleared the soldiers involved. Apparently they raided a house at night looking for a specific terrorist, received fire and called in an AC-130 gunship.

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