US Army Admits Civilian Shootings in Iraq

3 who died in hail of gunfire were unarmed, innocent victims
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 7:43 AM CDT
Empty coffins are seen outside Kazimiyah hospital in Baghdad. A military probe admitted that three Iraqis who died in a hail of gunfire in June were innocent civilians.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – American soldiers rained gunfire on a carload of innocent civilians in Baghdad, killing three, and the military falsely told news media that the victims were aggressors, the US military admitted last night. Top Iraqi officials had previously denounced the June 25 incident as murder, and used it to call for an end to the US occupation, writes the New York Times.

"A thorough investigation determined that the driver and passengers were law-abiding citizens of Iraq," according to a statement, which also faulted the military for how it handled the days after the incident—it told the media that the victims had a weapon, but none were found in the car. The soldiers will not be charged with wrongdoing, however, since they fired warning shots and exercised correct procedure during their "escalation of force."