BAGHDAD, Iraq May 19, 2004 Â A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party before dawn Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating.
Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of Ramadi, said between 42 and 45 people were killed in the attack, which took place about 2:45 a.m. in a remote desert area near the border with Syria and Jordan. He said the dead included 15 children and 10 women.
Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45.
Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of people who were allegedly killed in the incident. Most of the bodies were wrapped in blankets and other cloths, but the footage showed at least eight uncovered, bloody bodies, several of them children. One of the children was headless.
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