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U.S. Marines on patrol in Al-Hadithah (file photo) (AFP) June 11, 2006 -- A U.S. newspaper report says a U.S. sergeant is denying that the squad of Marines that he led had massacred 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Al-Hadithah in November.


"The Washington Post" says Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich told his defense lawyer that the Marines properly followed their rules of engagement and did not attempt a cover-up of the killings.


The lawyer, Neal Puckett, said Wuterich described how several civilians were killed when the Marines went after insurgents who fired on them from inside a house.


(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iraq Report


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