Mon, Jun 16, 2003 - Page 6 News List

US is taking liberties with law in Iraq

PILLAGE Desperate to suppress possible anti-US attacks, reports say soldiers have stormed homes and confiscated money and weapons from some Iraqis

REUTERS , FALLUJA, IRAQ

"We're certainly not taking individuals' money. We conduct searches based on information and if we have reason to believe the money was gained through illegal ways or used for illicit activities, it certainly is part of the confiscation, just as in the case of illegal weapons," Thomas said.

US soldiers are on full alert in Falluja where several of their colleagues have been killed since Saddam's removal in April. Iraq's top US administrator Paul Bremer said US troops will defend themselves against attacks in Falluja and use force against the attackers if they have to.

Shabib said he and his sons were put inside a tank, driven around town and thrown into a field until noon in the sweltering heat.

"I am a sick and old man. I asked them to allow me to go to the toilet but they refused and finally when they took me indoors to interrogate me, I began bleeding and collapsed. They took me to hospital," Shabib said.

He said his sons were treated even more badly during their 10-day detention.

Iyad, 32, said he was a soldier in the Iraqi army, but did not fight during the war because he opposed Saddam.

"I refused to fight Saddam's war, and now they put me in jail and accuse me and my family of funding the Baath Party," he said. "What an irony."

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