15.12.06

U.S. Troops Raid Fallujah General Hospital Again

News & Analysis: U.S. Troops Raid Hospital Again:

Iraqi doctors and medical staff are outraged over yet another U.S. military raid at Fallujah General Hospital. The raid followed a roadside bombing Dec. 7 where four Iraqi policemen were killed and two injured. The injured were taken to Fallujah General Hospital.

Shortly after this attack, a U.S. Marine who was on a patrol in the city was wounded by a gunshot.

'U.S. soldiers replied to the source of fire then headed straight to the general hospital across the (Euphrates) river hoping that they had shot and injured the sniper,' an eyewitness told IPS.

'American soldiers seem to have some imagination to think wounded fighters might go to that so-called hospital,' a retired surgeon told IPS. 'We know that they do not trust that place because of the continuous raids by the U.S., and lack of everything in that hospital.' The hospital is functioning at minimal capacity due to lack of medicines and equipment, the surgeon said.

Eyewitnesses at Fallujah General Hospital said U.S. soldiers raided the hospital 'as if it were a military target.'

'We panicked at the way they entered, kicking open doors and blasting locked ones,' a nurse told IPS. 'A doctor tried to tell them he had keys for the locked doors, but they pointed their guns to his face. Then they told us to go out of the building and they kept us under guard in the garden until the early hours of next morning.'

The nurse said the soldiers 'would not even allow us to get some blankets to keep us warm; the temperature was below five degrees centigrade.'

Doctors and medical staff were arrested and insulted, and some were called terrorists, witnesses said. The hospital was then closed, and could no longer offer even minimal treatment.

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