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U.S. Investigating Death of Iraqi Official's Cousin

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2005 – U.S. military authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an Iraqi man allegedly shot by U.S. Marines June 23, a senior military official announced in Baghdad, Iraq, today.

"When the loss of life occurs, every one of those incidents is investigated," Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, told reporters.

The man who was killed was a cousin of the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. Alston said the allegations "are quite disturbing" to American authorities.

The commander of the U.S. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force is "aggressively investigating" the allegations to determine the facts, Alston said, noting the investigation is not complete.

Iraqi Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie reportedly had called for the investigation. News reports say Sumaidaie has accused U.S. Marines of shooting his 21-year-old cousin during a house search near a U.S. base at Haditha Dam.

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