Monday, February 27, 2006

Wash Post: 1,300 Iraqis Killed In Week Of Sectarian Violence

Good God. According to the Washington Post, morgue officials in Baghdad say they have photographed, numbered and tagged 1,300 bodies of people who had been shot, knifed, garroted, or suffocated since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Sammara last week:

BAGHDAD, Feb. 27 -- Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday -- sprawled, blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies had their hands still bound -- and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.


Morgue officials said they had logged more than 1,300 dead since Wednesday -- the day the Shiites' gold-domed Askariya shrine was bombed -- photographing, numbering, and tagging the bodies as they came in over the nights and days of retaliatory raids.

The Statistics Department of the Iraqi police put the nationwide toll at 1,020 since Wednesday, but that figure was based on paperwork that is sometimes delayed before reaching police headquarters. The majority of the dead had been killed after being taken away by armed men, police said.

The disclosure of the death tolls followed accusations by the U.S. military and later Iraqi officials that the news media had exaggerated the violence between Shiites and Sunnis over the past few days.

The bulk of the previously known deaths were caused by bombings and other large-scale attacks. But the scene at the morgue and accounts related by relatives indicated that most of the bloodletting came at the hands of executioners.

"They killed him just because he was a Sunni," one young man at the morgue said of his 32-year-old neighbor, whose body he was retrieving.

Much of the violence has centered around mosques, many of which were taken over by Shiite gunmen, bombed or burned.

So while the fuckers in the administration are claiming behind the scenes that the press was exaggerating the killing and chaos, it turns out the press was actually underplaying it!!!

You know that the administration relies on the danger in Iraq to help them obscure the true carnage and death toll. Beause so many Western reporters are unable to get around Iraq without military support, much of what they report is the "official news" that the military allows them to see. I bet if more reporters could get around Iraq the way they got around New Orleans during Katrina, we'd get a lot more truth and a lot less truthiness.

In any case, just when you think the news out of Iraq cannot make you feel sicker, some piece of news gets onto the wires that does just that.

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