U.S. Marine kills wounded insurgent

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Friday November 12 2004

U.S.Marines were fired upon by snipers and insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades from a mosque and an adjacent building. The Marines returned fire with tank shells and machine guns.

They eventually stormed the mosque, killing 10 insurgents and wounding five others, and showing a cache of rifles and grenades for journalists.

The Marines told the pool reporter that the wounded insurgents would be left behind for others to pick up and move to the rear for treatment. But Saturday, another squad of Marines found that the mosque had been reoccupied by insurgents and attacked it again.

Four of the insurgents appeared to have been shot again in Saturday's fighting, and one of them appeared to be dead, according to the pool report. In the video, a Marine was seen noticing that one of the insurgents appeared to be breathing.

A Marine approached one of the men in the mosque saying, "He's [expletive] faking he's dead. He's faking he's [expletive] dead."

The Marine raised his rifle and fired into the insurgents head, at which point a companion said, "Well, he's dead now."

The camera then shows two Americans pointing weapons at another Iraqi insurgent lying motionless. But one of the Marines step back as the insurgent stretches out his hand, motioning that he is alive. The other Marine stands his ground, but neither of them fires.

When told by the pool reporter that the men were among those wounded in Friday's firefight, the Marine who fired the shot said, "I didn't know, sir. I didn't know."

"You can hear the tension in those Marines' voices. One is saying, 'He's faking it. He's faking it,'" Heyman said. "In a combat infantry soldier's training, he is always taught that his enemy is at his most dangerous when he is severely wounded."

A Marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent.

NBC reported that the Marine seen shooting the Iraqi insurgent had himself been shot in the face the day before, but quickly returned to duty.

About a block away, a Marine was killed and five others wounded by a booby-trapped body they found in a house after a shootout with insurgents.

Amnesty International has noted reports that insurgents have used mosques as fighting positions, and have used white flags to lure Marines into ambushes.

The Marine who shot the insurgent has been withdrawn from the battlefield pending the results of an investigation, the U.S. military said.

These terrorists do not follow the rules of war. These terrorists kill innocent women by disemboweling them, cut of the heads of innocent truck drivers, detonate car bombs in crowds full of innocent people, and fly planes into buildings filled with innocent Americans.

It is my opinion that NOTHING should happen to this American Marine. He should be returned to his unit or be given an honorable discharge. We don't need our young men and women taking an extra second to decide if its right to shoot an enemy terrorist when that could mean that one of our soldiers could lose their life. The lives of our soldiers should be the single most important factor in this war against terrorism. The rights of terrorists can come second.