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U.N. Chief for Human Rights Raises Concern on Falluja

The United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, said today that she was concerned that the rules of war intended to protect civilians and combatants had been violated in Falluja during the fighting between American-led forces and insurgents. Ms. Arbour issued her remarks in a statement on the same day that the American military said from Iraq that it was investigating an allegation of the unlawful use of force by an American marine in the death of an enemy combatant. That investigation centered on an incident in Falluja, captured on film by a television reporter, in which a United States marine shot and killed a wounded and apparently unarmed Iraqi prisoner in a mosque in Falluja on Saturday. An offensive of more than a week between the American military and Iraqi government forces against insurgents in Falluja, a city about 35 miles west of Baghdad, has left 38 American and 6 Iraqi soldiers killed, Col. Michael Regner, the operations officer for the First Marine Expeditionary Force, said on Monday. The number of Iraqi casualties has not been officially announced. The Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, has said he does not believe any civilians were killed in the offensive, which has left more than 1,200 insurgents dead, according to a Reuters report. Full Story

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