Iraq roundup: US soldiers kill 5 civilians; angry Iraqis chase US soldiers out of town; IAEA barred from investigating radioactive looting; archaeological looting continues
  • US soldiers killed 2 Iraqi civilians when their car failed to stop at a checkpoint near Samarra.

  • In Samarra, US soldiers killed 3 teenagers following celebratory gunfire at a wedding.
    A US Army official, who asked that he not be identified by name, said the incident was under investigation. He said he could provide no comment, other than to say: "Celebratory gunfire is dangerous."
    No fucking shit.

    This highlights the need for cultural training. Gunfire is extremely common at weddings, high school graduations, and many other events. It will not be possible to "restore order", much less "win hearts and minds", when soldiers indiscriminately fire at civilians.

  • Residents of the town of Hit, angry at door-to-door searches, chased US soldiers out of the town, attacked a police station, and set police cars on fire.

  • The US military has barred IAEA inspectors from conducting an inquiry into the looting at a site holding radioactive materials. The Pentagon reportedly has taken the measure to prevent the agency from becoming involved in the search for WMDs.

  • A few days hold, put here for reference: Looting at major archaeological sites continues, despite pleas for help. Iraq has thousands of archaeological sites that must have protection. This should have been factored into whatever passes for planning in the Bush administration. It hasn't been. Cultural heritage - like the supposed WMDs - isn't the highest priority.

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