Paying the price in Baghdad

US troops still killing innocent civilians in hunt for insurgents say residents.

    Amar says he has received neither
    an apology nor compensation

    Despite talk of progress in Iraq by General David Petraeus, the top US commander in the country, residents say innocent civilians are still being killed by US troops.

    Amar Kadim weeps as he recalls the day he lost his family.

    His father, his mother and his sister - herself a mother of four young children - were killed, he says, by US marines.

    When they came to this street, the Americans may have been looking for those they call "insurgents" and "terrorists".

    Frequent raids

    But by the time they had left, an elderly couple and a 30-year-old woman were dead.

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    "When I turned to my mother, she asked me: 'Where is your father?' I told her he is dead," Amar told Al Jazeera. 

    "She screamed and ran to the front gate [because] his body was just one metre in front of the gate. When my mother got there the American soldiers opened fire again [and] she was shot dead."

    The family live in Sadr City, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Baghdad.

    For the last four years, the Americans have mounted frequent raids here looking for armed fighters - supporters of the Shia cleric Muqtadr al-Sadr.

    'Enemy forces'

    It is easy to see on the streets of the neighbourhood what is left behind after one of those raids -

    lines of cars mown down by American armour.

    Evidence of US troop activity can be 
    seen in Sadr City's streets

    "Seeking compensation is useless," one man tells Al Jazeera.

    "The US troops are enemy forces [and] there's no way they will offer compensation when they come to hurt people.

    "They have no respect for humanity, the civilian population, Islam or Muslims."

    Al Jazeera has spoken to other people who, like the Khadim family, have claimed that innocent relatives have been killed by Americans raids.

    However, they were too scared to appear on camera.

    But more than two months after their relatives were killed and despite approaching the US military, the Kadim family have still received no apology and no compensation for their loss.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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