Iraq's UN Envoy accuses U.S. Marines of 'cold blooded murder'

Monday, July 4, 2005

US Marine Corps Seal
US Marine Corps Seal

Mohamed al-Sumaidaie, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, accused U.S. marines of murdering his cousin's 21-year-old son, Mohammed Sumaidaie, who was studying engineering at the University of Technology in Baghdad. “All indications point to a killing of an unarmed innocent civilian - a cold-blooded murder,” said Sumaidaie. “The Marines were smiling at each other as they were leaving.”

Sumaidaie called for an investigation of the alleged June 25 killing of the student while the US military said the charges “roughly correspond to an incident involving coalition forces on that day in that general location.” U.S.-led forces were conducting a sweep in the western portion of Anbar, in the province of Sumaidaie's ancestral villiage.

Sumaidaie said the “Americans come and rough up the youths in the village demanding information which they simply do not have,”

The alleged victim was at his father’s house with his mother when marines knocked at the door the ambassador said, quoting the young man's mother. According to Sumaidaie's letter, the Marines asked if there were any weapons, and Mohammed said there was a rifle, which only had blanks. He then led some of the Marines into his father's bedroom where it was kept. The younger brother of the dead student was dragged by his hair into a corridor and beaten while the rest of the family was told to wait outside, he said.

After waiting for more than an hour on the porch, the marines left, and the victim's mother found her son dead with a bullet to the neck, according to Sumaidaie.

"The mother let off a deafening cry of anguish but the marines were smiling at each other as they were leaving," Sumaidaie said. "In the bedroom, Mohamed was found dead and laying in a clotted pool of his blood."

U.S. Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Johnson said, "We take these allegations seriously and will thoroughly investigate this incident to determine what happened."