[Imc-london] EMERGENCY - ESCALATING WAR IN IRAQ
Iraq Occupation Focus
mikemarqusee at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Aug 12 06:09:28 PDT 2004
Iraq Occupation FocusIraq Occupation Focus
Campaigning to end the occupation of Iraq
iraqfocus at riseup.net
Media release, 12 August
Iraqi cities under fire from US-UK forces
More than 70 killed in Kut
F16s bomb Najaf
Stop the slaughter
As US-UK forces launched massive assaults on densely-populated areas of Najaf and other cities, Iraq Occupation Focus called on the occupying forces to stop the slaughter immediately.
IOF, a London-based campaigning group, condemned the ongoing military attacks on Iraqi people and in particular civilians. In the last 48 hours, civilians have been killed by occupying forces in the cities of Najaf, Kut, Sadr City, Sammara, Nasiriya, Amara, Basra, Ramadi and elsewhere.
"Since the latest round of combat in Iraq began on 5th August, hundreds of Iraqi civilians have been killed or injured," said a spokesperson for Iraq Occupation Focus. "This slaughter has now been going on for over a week, and it must stop.
"This morning (Thursday), US bombardment of the city of Kut killed 72 people and wounded 148, according to Iraqi officials. Many of the dead are women and children.
"Meanwhile, British troops have killed at least twenty people in Amara.
"We call on US, British and other occupying military forces to withdraw immediately from Iraq.
"The occupiers are the problem, not the solution.
"We call on the British media to give due coverage to the increasingly bloody war in Iraq, to the realties of the continuing occupation, and to the sufferings of the Iraqi civilians subject to US-UK military assault.
"We call on people in Britain to join together to bring an end to this unjust and increasingly violent occupation."
Notes to editors:
The deputy governor of Najaf resigned this morning in protest against the US offensive on the city. "I resign from my post denouncing all the US terrorist operations that they are doing against this holy city," said Jawdat Kadam Najim al-Kuraishi, deputy governor of Najaf.
In Najaf, the city's top health official, Falah Al-Mahani, said on Wednesday (11 August) that deteriorating security conditions were causing "a real catastrophe" for local health services. "Ambulances are prevented from reaching the injured people by the clashing parties," Al-Mahani told the Associated Press. "Our staff are not able to reach their hospitals. We are paralyzed." Al-Mahani also said that the fighting has wounded 18 members of his own staff, the AP reports.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that doctors at Najaf's Al-Hakim hospital said US-led forces had taken over the city's best-equipped hospital, turning it into a base of operations and making it off limits to civilians, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
As US helicopter gunships and warplanes pounded Najaf, thousands of peaceful protesters in the southern city of Nasiriya denounced interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi: "Allawi, you coward, you American agent". Workers at an oil-pumping station in Nasiriya stopped operations in protest against the government's backing of the US offensive. "We stopped pumping in protest of the inhuman conduct of the interim government and its cooperation with the occupation forces to ransack the holy city of Najaf and insult the Shia, their symbols and holy places," a statement by the oil workers said. In Karbala yesterday there was another peaceful protest calling for resignations of leading officials in the interim government and an end to the occupation.
For more information contact Iraq Occupation Focus:
Munir Chalabi 07952 683415
Liz Davies 07958 673840
iraqfocus at riseup.net
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