Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brutal video shows U.S. Army helicopters unleashing devastation and killing journalist in Baghdad

Tuesday, April 6th 2010, 4:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Brutal gun-camera video released by a whistleblower group on Monday showed the reality of Baghdad urban warfare - violent, profane, confused and deadly for a photographer and his driver caught in the middle.

"Look at all the dead bastards. Nice," an American voice on the radio said after Army AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopters launched devastating attacks on a group of men with rapid-fire cannons in July 2007.

The Apaches then attacked a minivan arriving to pick up the dead and wounded, flipping the vehicle. Among the dead were Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eideen, 22, and his driver Saeed Chmagh, 40.

Two young girls in the minivan were wounded and later evacuated by G.I.s.

"Well, it's their fault bringing their kids into the battle," a voice on the radio said.

WikiLeaks, a Web site that posts classified government documents, put the 17-minute video on YouTube. Pentagon officials confirmed its authenticity.

David Schlesinger, Reuters' editor in chief, said the videotaped killings of his agency's staffers were "tragic and emblematic of the extreme dangers that exist in covering war zones."

jmeek@nydailynews.com

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