Video shows US army shooting people, reporter in Iraq
WikiLeaks said, it has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.
In the recording, the helicopter crew can be heard discussing the scene on the street below, where one American claims to have spotted six people with AK-47s and one with a rocket-propelled grenade. Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, can be seen with a camera and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, talking on his mobile phone.
"The gathering at the corner that is fired up on has about nine people in it," Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks spokesman, told reporters at the National Press Club.
One of the helicopter crew is then heard saying that one of the group is shooting, but the video shows there is no shooting or even a pointing of weapons.
The pilots believe them to be insurgents, and mistake Noor-Eldeen's camera for a weapon.
"Look at those dead bastards," The New York Times quoted one pilot, as saying.
"Nice," the other responds.
A wounded man can be seen crawling on the street. Couple of minutes later, the pilots open fire at a van, which had came to pick up the injured, wounding two children inside.
"Well, it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle," one pilot said.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack, the report said. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were "in accordance with the law of armed conflict" and its own "Rules of Engagement".
WikiLeaks said it "obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers." WikiLeaks says goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. "We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident," the reports said.
As many as 139 journalists, nearly 120 of them Iraqis, have been killed during the 7-year-old invasion, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists.
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