?Allawi come and show us terrorists?

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 3.10.04

Falluja, Oct. 2 (Reuters): After the latest US air strike on Falluja, enraged residents clasped wounded children and challenged Iraq?s Prime Minister to visit the town to see how bombs were hitting civilians, not ?terrorists?.

?Is this a terrorist? Is this a terrorist? Iyad Allawi come and show us the terrorists,? screamed a man as he fixed a bandage on the head of a small boy in his arms.

A US warplane struck Falluja late last night, the latest in a weeks-long campaign of bombardments the US military says are targeting hideouts used by followers of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most hunted man in Iraq.

Today, US forces launched a ?precision strike? on a building in Falluja where 15 to 20 guerrillas were training for attacks. After yesterday?s attack, hospital officials said at least seven civilians were killed and 13 wounded. Reuters television pictures showed Iraqis digging through mounds of rubble and twisted metal hoping to find survivors. At one point, a child no older than 10 was pulled alive from under a pile of bricks and dust. US military officials have suggested that insurgents have pressured doctors into exaggerating casualty tolls.

Reuters television footage of the destruction after last night?s strike showed panicked men using their bare hands to dig out bodies. One man lay face down, covered by a heavy slab of cement over his waist and legs.

Amid the screams and groans of children having their wounds stitched at a Falluja hospital today, a young girl pulled dead from the rubble lay on a mat on the floor. Allawi?s government is scrambling to regain control of several rebel-held cities before elections are due in January.