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U.S. Shoots At U.S.-Backed Iraqi Militiamen

As press releases go, this one, from Multinational Forces-Iraq, starts off routine –

Four armed men were engaged by an air weapons team from Multi-National Division-Baghdad, after they were spotted emplacing an improvised explosive device north of Taji, Iraq the night of April 2—leaving one dead and two wounded.

– and then gets stomach-churning:

The men, alleged Sons of Iraq members, were seen emplacing an object in the road, near a critical road junction. The alleged SOI members had lookouts posted to keep watch several meters away, prior to being fired on by the Coalition forces aircraft. The largely rural area north of Baghdad has been the scene of several attacks in the past few months.

Over the weekend and continuing somewhat during the week, Sons of Iraq militiamen have been battling Iraqi government forces after the government arrested Adil Mashadani, a Sons of Iraq/Awakening leader. Now the U.S. military is firing from the air on the militiamen it has backed since 2007.

Update: Interestingly, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government has released a different Awakening leader arrested last week.

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