By: E&P Staff
Ever since news emerged two weeks ago about the rape and murder of a young woman in Iraq — and the killing of three of her family members — the age of the rape victim has been in dispute. Iraqis in the town of Mahmudiya, where the attack took place, had insisted she was only about 15, while U.S. authorities claimed she was probably near 20 or even 25.
Oddly, that’s the way it stood, until Sunday, when news agencies uncovered a passport for the girl which clearly showed that she was 14 when the attack took place. Reuters also obtained a death certificate and an identity card confirming this.
It’s not known why the U.S. military did not ascertain or make public this information days ago.
U.S. soldiers have reportedly made advances toward the girl in days prior to the assault. Five of them now face murder and rape charges, which have caused even more anger in Iraq because of the age of the victim.
A photo of the passport and the girl’s picture appears on page A8 of Monday’s New York Times. Almost alongside is a photo of an eight-year-old girl badly injured in Sunday’s street rampage in Baghdad that left dozens dead.