Al-Qaeda Steals Blood From Iraq Hospitals

Terror group uses fluid to treat its own wounded soldiers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 1:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – As if working in an Iraqi hospital isn't challenge enough: The New York Times reports that Al-Qaeda groups routinely steal blood at gunpoint to treat their own wounded soldiers, often while Iraqi security forces stand by and watch. It's been going on for years, ever since Iraqi police began making the rounds of hospitals to arrested wounded insurgents. To avoid that, militant groups began setting up their own clinics and supplementing supplies with raids on hospitals and blood banks.

A blood bank worker recounts a recent encounter: "They said: ‘We are from the Islamic State of Iraq. Give us the blood without delay.’ I requested the required medical form from them, but they said, ‘Are you new here?’ I answered, ‘Yes.’ So they said, ‘Go ask. Everybody knows us and everybody knows the fate of those who do not cooperate. Do you understand?’ Meanwhile, the police were listening and did not do anything. So I handed them the blood and they left."

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