April 30, 2003
Iraqis Celebrate; U.S. Soldiers Shoot Them

A small horde, group, or mass of Iraqis were either protesting the occupation of a school by U.S. forces or unwisely celebrating the birthday of Saddam Hussein when U.S soldiers in the school opened fire and either killed 13 or 15 of them or killed some of them while others were killed by what was called "celebratory gunfire."

Soldiers in an elevated, enclosed schoolroom, unaware of either the lack of firecrackers in Baghdad or the practice of firing guns into the air to celebrate an event, apparently mistook the "celebratory gunfire"-- bullets fired up into the air that, obeying the laws of gravity, return to earth and accidentally revisit the shooter -- for "noncelebratory gunfire" -- in other words, people trying to kill them -- and killed members of the birthday party.

News accounts differ. Some said the Iraqis were unarmed; others said that they were shooting off the guns into the air to protest the presence of U.S. soldiers in the schoolhouse; other said they were firing into the air to celebrate Hussein's birthday; others said that the Iraqis were dancing around a maypole and occasionally playing London bridge; one account said that Iraqis were threatening American forces with nuclear weapons and water pistols. The Washington post squared all of these accounts by simply reporting: "Details remained murky."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:44 PM in News