Confusion over Iraq soccer explosion - US carried out blast - 18 children dead
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2007
20:37 MECCA TIME, 17:37 GMT
A car bomb attack near a football field in the Iraqi city of Ramadi has killed 18 youngsters according to state television and defence officials.
Iraqi television station Iraqiya said on Tuesday that the blast had been caused by a car bomb.
Police said it was a roadside bomb and that the field was near a US military base.
Sheikh Hamid al-Hais, deputy head of a council of Sunni tribal chiefs opposed to al-Qaeda, said: "The bombers have no humanity. Eighteen boys were killed, the oldest one was 15. Dozens more were wounded."
The offices of Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, and Jalal Talabani, the president, both issued statements condemning the blast that they said killed 18 people.
Al-Maliki's office said the dead included 12 children, while Talabani's office said all 18 were children.
Sheikh Hamid said the truck, loaded up with logs, was parked next to the pitch and detonated as the boys played.
A defence official confirmed that 18 children were killed and 20 wounded in the latest attack
However, the US military told reporters that it was unaware of the bomb attack and had earlier undertaken a controlled blast in the city.
Major Jeff Pool, a US military spokesman, said the blast by US soldiers near a football field in Ramadi had slightly wounded 30 people, including nine children.
Pool said it was carried out in the courtyard of a building where bags of explosives had been found and that the wounded had cuts and bruises.
Windows from a nearby building were blown out, causing the wounds. Pool said US forces helped evacuate those injured.
He said: "I can't imagine there would be another attack involving children without our people knowing."
The major said the controlled blast in Ramadi was "stronger than we had expected".
The US military often carries out controlled explosions in Iraq to destroy captured weapons or unexploded bombs.
Referring to the football attack, a police colonel in Ramadi, who declined to be identified, said a suicide bomber had detonated a truck bomb and put the time of the explosion at about 5pm.
Pool said the controlled US blast was at 5:34pm.
What is the likelihood that there were two different blasts that occurred in the same area at around the same time?
But, more importantly - if it is the same blast - what is the likelihood that US explosives 'experts' did not know that there were children playing near the truck?
Case closed. The US is screwed.
Things are going to get MUCH, MUCH worse from here on.
"Money" has no value - people do.