Five members of an Iraqi family were killed when US forces opened fire on their vehicle outside a military base near the city of Baquba, police say.
A US military spokesman said the minibus they were travelling in failed to stop as it approached a roadblock at about 0800 (0500 GMT). Two men and three children were killed and two women and a child were wounded, Iraqi police said. A US military spokesman put the toll at three dead and two wounded.
The family was travelling to a funeral at the time, witnesses said. The roadblock had been set up to allow military vehicles to turn off a highway into the base.
“The Iraqi car wouldn’t slow down and warning shots were fired,” Maj Steven Warren told news agency AFP. He said the vehicle did not stop and came under machine-gun fire.
Ahmed Kamel al-Sawamara, a 22-year-old who was driving the car, said he had no time to react when shots began raining down.
“The soldiers started shooting at us from all over,” he told reporters. “I slowed down and pulled off the road, but they continued firing.
“I saw my family killed, one after the other, and then the car caught fire. I dragged their bodies out.”
Since the US-led invasion in 2003, there have been repeated incidents in which American troops have fired on civilian vehicles. [source]
Now lets say members of Zarqawi’s group get a hold of Ahmed, who was most likely a young moderate Iraqi Muslim going to a funeral before any of this happened for all we know .
The question is, how long will it take them to brainwash him? To show him photos of his dead family, or abused Iraqis, and convince him why he should strap bombs on his waist and blow up say, a hotel in Amman? A day? An hour? 5 minutes? Less?
I suppose it’s normal to say “I would never be convinced to do such a thing no matter what!”, but it’s the “no matter what” that is so relative. A person’s will power varies from say, when he or she is in a normal state of mind, to say, after they witness 5 members of their family riddled with bullets and have to pull their dead bodies out of a burning car.
How easy the presense of the US in Iraq make it for them. AlQueda and the U.S. are each other’s greatest servering allies if you think about it.
UPDATE: November 22nd 2005
“They are all children. They are not terrorists,” shouted one relative. “Look at the children,” he said as a morgue official carried a small dead child into a refrigeration room, according to Reuters.
“We felt bullets hitting the car from behind and from in front,” said another survivor with blood running from a wound to his head and splattered on his shirt. “Heads were blown off. One child had his hand shot off,” he added.
According to Reuters, the US military said it was looking into the incident but did not confirm its involvement or provide any other details. [article]