15.12.06

Iraq aid agency, the Red Crescent, 'attacked' by US again

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq aid agency 'attacked' by US:

The Iraqi Red Crescent, the country's biggest humanitarian organisation, has accused United States troops of attacking its offices and vehicles. The organisation's vice-president said attacks by US-led forces were the biggest problem it faced.

The Red Crescent, which has a staff of 1,000 and 200,000 volunteers, is the only Iraqi aid group working across the country's 18 provinces. The US military said it was checking the allegations.

Jamal al-Karbouli, Vice-President of the Iraqi Red Crescent, said the latest incident occurred last week in the central city of Falluja.

'We had our offices attacked by American forces. They detained the volunteers and staff for more than two hours,' Mr Karbouli said. He added that two Red Crescent cars had been burned.

Mr Karbouli was speaking at a meeting of international Red Cross organisations in Geneva.

He went on to give other examples of alleged US harassment, including attacks on the organisation's headquarters in Baghdad over the past three years. 'Four to five times they have attacked the headquarters, they break doors and windows, just to see. And they didn't find anything and they left,' he said.

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