Falluja women, children in mass grave

Residents of a village neighbouring Falluja have told Aljazeera that they helped bury the bodies of 73 women and children who were burnt to death by a US bombing attack.

    Many corpses remain unburied, Falluja residents say

    "We buried them here, but we could not identify them because they were charred by the use of napalm bombs used by the Americans," said one resident of Saqlawiya in footage aired on Aljazeera on Sunday.

    There have been no reports of the US military using napalm in Falluja and no independent verification of the claims.

    The resident told Aljazeera all the bodies were buried in a single grave.

    Late last week, US troops in Falluja called on some residents who had fled the fighting to return and help bury the dead.

    However, according to other residents who managed to flee the fighting after US forces entered the city, hundreds more bodies still lay in the streets and were being fed on by packs of wild dogs.

    Danger zone

    Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Falluja remained too dangerous to secure proper retrieval and burial of corpses.

    The ICRC and other relief groups
    are unable to enter the city

    "We could not enter Falluja city so far due to the security measures and the continuing battles," Muain Qasis, ICRC spokesman in Jordan, told Aljazeera. 

    When asked about the security measures, Qasis said: "In order to carry out an independent and acceptable humanitarian action, we must have guarantees ensuring the safety of the humanitarian staff.

     

    "The humanitarian situation in Falluja city is very difficult.

     

    "The city is still suffering shortage of public services. There is no water or electricity. There is no way to offer medical treatment for the injured families still surrounded inside the city," he added.

     

    Detained civilians released

    In related news, the US military in Falluja announced that it had released 400 of the 1450 men it had detained in the war-ravaged city.

    "More than 400 detainees have since been released after being deemed non-combatants," the military said, adding that 100 more were due to be released on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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