Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Children freed from an Iraqi prison. Yet the media is only worried about journalists who willingly entered a war-zone.

Around 150 children spilled out of the jail after the gates were opened as a US military Humvee vehicle approached, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla told an AFP correspondent travelling with the Marines 5th Regiment.

"Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us," Padilla said.

"There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back."

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

The children, who were wearing threadbare clothes and looked under-nourished, walked on the streets crossing their hands as if to mimic handcuffs, before giving the thumbs up sign and shouting their thanks.

It was not clear who had opened the doors of the prison.

A 19-year-old called Haider said people had been ransacking government compounds since the morning to steal weapons and furniture.

"Since the morning, nine o'clock, they have been looting. They are stealing weapons and I took three doors," he said.

At one stage the marines opened fire after coming under attack from snipers, leaving at least two civilians wounded.

One man needed treatment for gunshot wounds to his stomach and left arm.

But his friend, Abdul Amir Jaffa, said he did not resent the Americans despite the shooting.

"Americans are coming to free us," he told AFP.

< email | 4/08/2003 12:49:00 PM | link

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