Airstrike on Soccer Field Kills Almost 2 Dozen
we share with you today the following June 22 letter from Voices in the Wilderness:
Our Voices in the Wilderness delegation currently in Iraq traveled yesterday to Mosul and Tel A'fer, intent on interviewing survivors of the bombing, relatives of victims, and witnesses. A soccer field at Tel A'fer was bombed at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19. The VitW team arrived at noon on Thursday, June 21. They were continuing our five year effort to communicate the stories and experiences of ordinary people in Iraq as they endure the effects of sanctions and bombardment.
Iraq says U.S.-British airstrike kills 11
By Associated Press, 6/20/2001 09:23
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) Iraq claimed Wednesday
|Voices reminds you that, if you think the
deliberate starving and repeated bombing of
innocent people is wrong, then you should
TELL YOUR POLITICIANS.
Here are grim details from a telephone conversation with our team members following their visit to Tel Afr:
The team spent two hours at the soccer field. They said the site was strewn with large pieces of bomb debris, two pieces of which bore English writing with serial numbers and dates.
Doctors at the Tel A'fer General Hospital told them that of the 23 people who died, 21 were under age 17. Initially there were 12 injured survivors, all but one of whom are under 17 years of age. Three were referred to the Mosul General Hospital, and of those three, one has already died. At the Tel A'fer General hospital, delegation members met nine boys who suffered blast injuries and were in wretched condition, with deep lacerations and burns.
Ahmed Shakur, age 13, suffered deep lacerations to his scapula and buttocks. He has lost hearing in his left ear. His younger brother, Ali, was killed. His 39 year old brother, Fatha, was with him. They said they didnít think the American people would do this and asked, "Why has this happened here? Why us? Why now?"
Omar Hamid Hosain was visibly in pain. He was already handicapped from polio and suffered a fractured pelvis, a fractured fibula, and had shell fragments in his leg.
One of the women doctors said that most of the victims were related to each other and lived near each other. Four of the five boys interviewed by the team had each lost a brother in the bombing. Taha Naif Hosain, 12 years old, lost his two brothers, Hamid Naif Hosain and Abbas Naif Hosain. Taha had full burns across his body, his hair was singed and his face was swollen so that one of his eyes was half shut. He had a fractured fibula and tibia.
At a briefing on Wednesday, June 20 2001, White House spokesperson Mr. Ari Fleischer suggested that reporters ask the Iraqi government about responsibility for the killing.
As in the past, we will want to follow a formula we trust: observe, judge, act. We'll refrain from drawing final conclusions until we have been able to thoroughly evaluate whatever evidence is available.
We urge the U.S. authorities to:
i--recognize that, under international law, there is no justification for US incursions into Iraqi airspace
ii--express remorse and regret for all of the suffering caused by prolonged economic and military warfare against Iraq,
iii--immediately seek negotiation and dialogue as preferred nonviolent means to resolve disputes.
Voices in the Wilderness