Video shows US forces shooting unarmed Iraqis
A damning video released by WikiLeaks shows a US Apache helicopter opening fire on a group of unarmed Iraqis
Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has released graphic footage of a US Apache helicopter strike which killed at least 12 mostly unarmed Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters employees.
The video (above - best viewed on 'full screen' mode) comes shortly after the release by WikiLeaks of Pentagon documents from 2008 claiming that the website is a security threat to US troops.
WikiLeaks said it obtained the video, which was recorded in 2007, from "a number of military sources". It comes from the Apache helicopter which mounted the attack, and includes a damning conversation between the pilots and ground controllers.
The Apache begins by circling a group of men with the pilots requesting permission to open fire (at around 2 minutes 30 seconds in the video above) when they apparently mistake the camera of one of the Reuters men for a rocket propelled grenade.
After opening fire, a pilot says, "Oh yeah look at those dead bastards," before repeatedly saying, "nice".
His colleague says: "Good shootin'."
Meanwhile, on the ground, an injured man, believed to be Reuters employee Saeed Chmagh, struggles to escape the scene. One of the pilots urges Saeed to pick up a weapon so that he can once again open fire.
Later in the video, which can be seen on CollateralMurder.org, a website set up by WikiLeaks, a van arrives to pick up the wounded man. The helicopter again opens fire, killing more men, and injuring two children who were also in the van.
A military official quoted by AFP said: "Since 2007, we acknowledged everything that's in the video. We acknowledged that the strike took place and that there were two Reuters employees [killed].
"The RPG in the video is real," the official added. "We had insurgents and reporters in an area where US forces were about to be ambushed.
"At the time we weren't able to discern whether (the Reuters employees) were carrying cameras or weapons." ·
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