US Officers: We Executed Handcuffed Iraqi Captives

Prisoners were killed to avenge platoon's losses, investigators told
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2008 5:29 AM CDT
A US soldier passes next to a blindfolded detainee in Khashwaga village in northern Iraq.   (AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed)
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(Newser) – Three US officers shot four blindfolded and handcuffed Iraqi detainees early last year and dumped their bodies in a canal, according to statements made to military investigators and obtained by the New York Times. The men are likely to face murder charges. Four others from the same platoon have been charged with murder conspiracy for agreeing to the killings, according to authorities.

The detainees were suspected Mahdi Army fighters captured in Baghdad. After being told to release the men due to insufficient evidence against them, the platoon's first sergeant ordered that the prisoners be shot as revenge for the earlier deaths of two American soldiers, according to statements by two of the men who admitted to shooting the men in the head. "I'm ashamed of what I've done," said one of the shooters.