Rebels in Fallujah Invite ‘Embeds,’ As Civilian Death Toll Rises

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By: E&P Staff

They may not get many takers, but Iraqi insurgents in the besieged city of Fallujah on Saturday invited journalists to “embed” with them to report their side of the war.

E&P reported Friday that the Pentagon-run embedded-journalist program has surged again, with several dozen signing on with the main U.S. Marine units outside the city.

“All media will be allowed into Fallujah to witness the crusade against Islam and see the real face of America. U.S. media will not be excluded,” said a statement by the Falluja Mujahideen Shura, which is composed of insurgent leaders, tribal chiefs, and Sunni Muslim clerics. “We will protect and transport them to the location of the events. There will be a special building for the journalists.”

A Reuters report observed that this offer “mimics” the U.S. embedded programs. According to the report, the few journalists remaining in Falluja, the target of U.S. air strikes for weeks, are mainly Iraqis, some working for foreign news outlets.

An Iraqi cameraman filming for Reuters Television, Dhia Najim, was killed by a U.S. sniper in Ramadi this week.

Falluja residents say air raids often destroy homes and kill civilians. The U.S. military says they are carefully targeted. The civilian death toll in Iraq since the war began has been estimated at anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000.

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