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Archive for Saturday, May 12, 2007

Marine: Haditha officials sought probe of deaths

May 12, 2007

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— The town council in Haditha, Iraq, complained to Marine officers about the killings of 24 civilians, but U.S. military officials rejected a call to investigate, a Marine intelligence captain testified Friday.

Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore testified that council members met with battalion commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and company commander Capt. Lucas McConnell from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines on Nov. 27, 2005, eight days after a Marine squad killed 24 Iraqis including women and children in their homes.

Dinsmore said the council had circulated a flier demanding an investigation into the deaths and outlining allegations that Marines deliberately targeted civilians after a deadly roadside bombing, but he dismissed the flier as propaganda.

Dinsmore, who has not been charged, spoke on the fourth day of a preliminary hearing for Capt. Randy W. Stone, one of four officers, including McConnell and Chessani, charged with dereliction of duty for failing to investigate the killings.

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