BAGHDAD (AFP) - American soldiers shot and killed four Iraqi firemen after mistaking their fire tender for one hijacked by insurgents, US military headquarters has said.
"After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description," said a statement describing Monday's incident in the western city of Fallujah.
When the unarmed firefighters got out of the fire tender US soldiers opened fire and killed them, after mistaking them for armed insurgents.
"The suspected insurgents were in fact firefighters responding to a call. The fire truck number did not match the one of the hijacked truck. All four of the firefighters that exited the vehicle died," the statement said.
"Minutes later another fire truck was spotted and pulled over in an area nearby. The occupants fled. It was determined that this truck number did match the truck that was hijacked," it added.
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Take that sentence in bold and imagine what that would look like. After all the breathless abasement this country put forth toward fire fighters after 9/11, I find that sentence terribly sad.