WikiLeaks Iraq release summary

2010-10-24 19:58

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London - WikiLeaks has published 391 832 "SIGACT" (Significant Action) reports, described as one of the biggest military leaks of all time.

The documents, written by US soldiers during the war in Iraq, date from January 2004 to the end of 2009.

Here are the main points from the files:

Deaths

The documents detail 109 032 deaths in Iraq, comprising 66 081 civilians of which WikiLeaks claims 15 000 were previously unknown, 23 984 insurgents, 15 196 Iraqi troops and 3 771 coalition soldiers.

Abuse

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called the war in Iraq "a bloodbath on every corner". The documents allege that the US army turned a blind eye to several cases of abuse by Iraqi troops.

The Guardian newspaper said the "numerous" reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, "describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks."

One Iraqi detainee claimed he was "blindfolded and beaten with a wire by Iraqi police on two consecutive nights" near Ramadi in 2008, according to documents seen by AFP.

Another detainee alleged that after being arrested last year, "his hands were bound behind his back, (he) was placed in a stress position... and the bottoms of his feet were beaten with an object."

But Iraqi forces were not the only ones accused. The documents showed up more than 300 allegations of detainees being abused by coalition troops since the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal.

Rapes and murders perpetrated by Iraqi forces were documented by US soldiers but were not followed up.

Other incidents

US forces allegedly killed almost 700 civilians at checkpoints in Iraq.

In 2007 a US helicopter killed two insurgents who wanted to surrender after an army lawyer told the crew they were valid targets as they could not surrender to aircraft.

Iran

The documents show Tehran waging a shadow war with US troops in Iraq, with Tehran training and arming Shi'ite militias in Iraq in order to kill or capture US troops.

According to one report, Iran planned an attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the main Iraqi government buildings and Western embassies are housed.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  iraq  |  internet  |  security
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