Iraq’s Top Newspaper Warns U.S. on Atrocities

By: The Associated Press

Iraq’s largest newspaper has issued a stinging denunciation of the latest in a string of alleged atrocities by U.S. troops in that country.

A former U.S. soldier was arrested yesterday and charged with raping, killing and burning a young Iraqi woman, and killing three others in her family. Others may yet be charged.

The Mahmoudiya attack was among the worst in a series of cases of U.S. troops accused of killing and abusing Iraqi civilians. Iraq’s largest newspaper, Azzaman, said in an editorial Tuesday the rape “summarizes what has been going in Iraq for the past years not only by the American occupation army, but also by some Iraqi groups.”

The Azzaman newspaper expressed skepticism the soldiers would be severely punished.

“The U.S. Army will conduct an investigation and the result at best is already known. One or two U.S. soldiers will receive a ‘touristic punishment’ and the whole crime will be forgotten as it happened with Abu Ghraib criminals,” the newspaper said, referring to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards at a prison in west Baghdad.

Iraq’s justice minister demanded Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council ensure a group of U.S. troops are punished in the alleged rape and murder calling the attack “monstrous and inhuman.”

An new poll for Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times reveals that 23% of Americans say they feel “less supportive” of the war in Iraq due to reports of possible atrocities by U.S. troops. Sixty-six percent said it made no change in their thinking.

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