MNF-I Responds— ANOTHER BOGUS REPORT!… No Evidence of Dwelah Massacre!

(This post was updated and bumped.)
“The story you are reading in the news is NOT true… CF assessment: Wildly inflated, irresponsibly exaggerated claims-no 600 families displaced, no 200 terrorists, no evidence of civilian KIA.”

MAJ Peggy Kageleiry
Task Force Iron PAO

On the “Dwelah Massacre” reports

The “Dwelah Massacre” made international headlines on December 2, 2007.

…But it was not true! (ABC News)

BREAKING: MNF-I RESPONDS TO BOGUS DWELAH SLAUGHTER REPORTS BY MEDIA!!

Another Bogus Slaughter Report From Iraq
MNF-I rips on the mainstream media’s Dwelah massacre story!

On Sunday, December 2, 2007, the mainstream news headlined their news reports with a horrible slaughter story from Iraq. In the reports 13 people were slaughtered by Al-Qaeda and their homes were torched in the village of Dwelah, Iraq.

Voices of Iraq even carried the story twice and reported that 8 houses were torched.

(USA Today)

But… days later, the US cannot find any evidence of this attack after searching the area for several hours!
The AP slipped this in their report today:

Dwelah is one of several Shiite villages on the northern outskirts of Baqouba, the Diyala provincial capital that has seen some of the war’s harshest fighting. Sectarian attacks and displacement of civilians has left the once-mixed city overwhelmingly Sunni, and many Shiites who once had freedom of movement throughout Diyala are now hunkered down in their villages…

The U.S. military could not confirm Saturday’s attack, saying American aircraft searched the area for several hours and found no evidence of the killings. Iraqi ground forces approached Dwelah but came under small arms fire, said Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in northern Iraq.


(LA Times)

On Friday an MNF-Iraq spokeswoman MAJ Peggy Kageleiry Task Force Iron PAO wrote back on the Dwelah Massacre that wasn’t:

Jim, to answer your questions: Yes, you may quote me on the official investigation below and the point/counterpoint on the Washington Post article.

Is this true (the Dwelah massacre)? The story you are reading in the news is NOT true.

Is there any evidence of torched homes? There is evidence of what looks like a few empty homes being torched.

Is there any evidence of a slaughter? Absolutely not…
There were no No IP’s wounded. No body was killed, 5-6 homes were assessed as those reportedly burned. CF assessment: Wildly inflated, irresponsibly exaggerated claims-no 600 families displaced, no 200 terrorists, no evidence of civilian KIA.

** There is more.
Here is a piece by piece breakdown by MNF-I on a Washington Post AP article that was published on Sunday, December 2, 2007:

Militant Raid on Iraqi Village Kills 13
Associated Press
By LORI HINNANT
Sunday, December 02, 2007

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Dozens of people suspected of being members of the group al Qaeda in Iraq showered a Shiite village with mortar rounds early Saturday…

[MAJ Kageleiry] There were no reported indirect fire from mortars reported by sensors by either the 4/2 SBCT Fusion Diyala analyst or by the local Provincial Joint Coordination Centers in the region. No other intelligence found concerning an attack that was initiated or involved mortar fire.

…and [Al Qaeda in Iraq] then stormed the streets, killing at least 13 Iraqis, torching homes and forcing hundreds of families to flee, police said.

[MAJ Kageleiry] Predator drones spent several hours over the village and searched the surrounding areas. The aerial reconnaissance found no people fleeing or any evidence of a town being ransacked.

…The mortar fire on Dwelah, about 45 miles north of Baghdad in Diyala province, began about 6:30 a.m. and was followed by 50 to 60 militants, who streamed in and opened fire, a police officer said. Some villagers fought back, killing three of the attacking gunmen.

[MAJ Kageleiry] There were no substantiated reports by ISF of enemy dead being found anywhere near this town.

…Among the 13 dead were three children, the police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The militants torched more than two dozen homes, and about 500 families fled, police said. Other police reports said at least 35 people were abducted by the attackers.

[MAJ Kageleiry] Coaltion Forces have no reports from ISF or the government saying people were killed.

…Col. Ali Ismail Fattah, a senior police commander, said violence has escalated northeast of Baqouba because insurgents have sensed an opportunity as some U.S. troops pull out of the province. The Fort Hood-based 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division began returning to Texas from Diyala last week.

“I do not know why they withdrew the American brigade at this time,” Fattah said. “This showed that Iraqi forces are not ready yet to fight the terrorism alone by themselves.”

[MAJ Kageleiry] The brigade has been replaced in a transition with another brigade with equal capabilties in Diyala province. Security is our business and we will ensure the security of Diyala province. Decisions to move forces will be made based upon the conditions on the ground.

…U.S. military officials said the increase in violence was n
ot related to U.S. troop shifts in the province. As the 5,000 soldiers head home, they are being replaced by another brigade, a process that will actually result in more U.S. troops in Diyala, U.S. military officials said.

“It has nothing to do with troop movements inside or outside Diyala,” Capt. Vic Beck said of the violence. “There are good days and bad days. The fight is far from over.”

Additional material from The Associated Press.

Previous Bogus Reports This Past Month:

The media’s bogus report on 20 headless bodies in Diyala Province Nov. 1, 2007
The media’s bogus report on journalist Dia al-Kawwaz slaughtered family members (with photo!) Nov. 29, 2007
The media’s bogus Afghanistan “construction worker” bombing. Dec. 2, 2007
The bogus Dwelah Massacre -December 2, 2007
The bogus 12 mutilated bodies in Muqdadiya story -December 13, 2007

It really wasn’t a very good month for the antiwar mainstream media.

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