Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Iraq to probe US massacre claims


The official US version differs widely from that of locals and the media
Iraq will investigate allegations that US marines carried out a massacre of civilians in Haditha in November, the country's prime minister has said.

Nouri Maliki told Reuters news agency there was "a limit to the acceptable excuses" for civilian casualties.

The Pentagon is close to ending its own inquiries into the deaths, initially attributed to a clash with militants.

Observers say the incident could deal a more serious blow to US standing than the Abu Ghraib scandal.

According to initial US military reports, 15 civilians and eight insurgents died after a bomb killed a marine in Haditha, a militant stronghold in Anbar Province.

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