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Marines Make Condolence Payments to Najaf Citizens

American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DUKE, Iraq, Oct. 26, 2004 – Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit distributed more than $570,000 in condolence and collateral-damage-repair payments on Oct. 25 to show good will to Iraqis caught in the crossfire during fighting in Najaf in August 2003, officials with Multinational Force Iraq announced.

Payments began on Sept. 30 and have resulted in a total of $1.9 million disbursed to more than 2,660 Najaf residents. Officials assured that payments will continue as long as needed to meet each valid case.

Condolence payments, known as "solatia," are paid to express sympathy to those injured or who lost a family member during the fighting. Collateral-damage- repair payments are intended for Iraqis who experienced damage to their homes, businesses or other property. Subsequently, 11th MEU Marines continue to spend millions of dollars to contract local Iraqi businessmen and workers to repair public infrastructure damaged during the fighting.

"Now that Najaf is secure, we're working around the clock to get this city up and running again," said Col. Anthony M. Haslam, the unit's commanding officer. "These payments are one way we are showing goodwill and building trust with the locals."

(From a Multinational Force Iraq press release.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

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