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Signs of the Times for Tue, 11 Jul 2006

By Alastair Macdonald
Reuters UK
Sun Jul 9, 2006
BAGHDAD - Five U.S. soldiers were charged in a rape and multiple murder case that has outraged Iraqis, as documents obtained by Reuters on Sunday showed the rape victim was a minor aged just 14, and not over 20 as U.S. officials say.

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By Haifa Zangana
07/06/06 "The Guardian"
A'beer Qassim al-Janaby, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, was with her family in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, when US troops raided the house. A group of soldiers have been charged with her rape and the murder of her father, mother, and nine-year-old sister. They are also accused of setting A'beer's body on fire.

The al-Janaby family lived near a US checkpoint, and the killings happened at 2pm on March 11. As usual, a US spokesman ascribed the killings to "Sunni Arab insurgents active in the area", contrary to local eyewitnesses.

A'beer's rape and murder is neither incidental nor the product of a US soldier's "personality disorder": it is part of a pattern that includes Abu Ghraib, as well as the Haditha, Ishaqi and Qaiem massacres. And we see this pattern as serving a strategic function beyond indiscriminate revenge: to couple collective humiliation with intimidation and terror.

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Last Updated Mon, 10 Jul 2006 20:20:36 EDT
The Canadian Press
A new report describes Canadian teen Omar Khadr being carried into Guantanamo Bay interrogations on a stretcher, dangling from a door frame for hours and used as a human floor mop to clean his own urine.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York released the first major overview Monday of alleged abuses and torture at the U.S. prison camp for terror suspects, including rape, sexual harassment and vicious beatings.

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Associated Press
July 10, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An al-Qaida-linked group claims it killed three U.S. soldiers last month and mutilated two of their bodies to avenge the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by troops of the same unit, an institute which monitors extremists Web sites said Tuesday.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council made the claim in a 4:39 minute video posted on the Internet which included the mutilated bodies of two of the soldiers attacked June 16 near Youssifiyah southwest of Baghdad, according to a statement by the SITE Institute. Their remains were found three days later.

The institute released still pictures from the video showing two of the American dead, one of whom had been decapitated.

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Mon July 10, 2006
BAGHDAD - Electricity supplies in the Iraqi capital should reach 11 hours a day, almost double the current amount, by the end of this summer, a US military official involved in reconstruction said.

"We think we can get Baghdad to about 11 hours of reliable power a day by the end of summer," said Major General William McCoy of the Army Corps of Engineers, involved in Iraq's reconstruction.

According to him, Baghdad currently receives six to eight hours of power a day, though residents of some neighborhoods insist the amount is much less.

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Comment: How many times has the Bush administration claimed that the situation in Iraq - including the supply of electricity - wasn't as bad as many were claiming? Now, all of a sudden, the mainstream media is quoting a US general who says that Bush was basically dead wrong...

By Mariam Karouny
Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:07pm ET172
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, the government said on Monday, as the U.S. military named five soldiers charged in a rape-murder case that has outraged Iraqis.

In an interview a week after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanded a review of foreign troops' immunity, Human Rights Minister Wigdan Michael said work on it was now under way and a request could be ready by next month to go to the U.N. Security Council, under whose mandate U.S.-led forces operate in Iraq.

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