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Iraq UN ambassador accuses US forces of killing cousin in home raid

[JURIST] Iraq UN ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie [Iraq UN Mission profile] has accused US Marines of shooting to death his 21-year old cousin Mohammed al-Sumaida'ie during a raid of his father's house in Haditha, a city in Iraq's western Anbar province that has been a focus of recent US security operations [AKI report]. In a three-page statement released Friday, Sumaida'ie said the Marines asked the young Sunni engineering student whether there were weapons in the home during the June 25 raid and that al-Sumaida'ie was last seen alive before he went to a separate room to get a rifle containing blanks. He alleged that the Marines were smiling as they left the home after the shooting. Samir Sumaida'ie has been a strong US supporter throughout the Iraq conflict but said this could lessen US support in the country and has requested a complete investigation of the killing to "ensure that justice is done." The US military released a statement [press release] Friday saying the allegations "roughly correspond to an incident involving coalition forces on that day" and that it would be thoroughly investigated. Reuters has more. US forces have been accused of various aggressive missteps [JURIST report] against Sunni civilians since they began new security initiatives in May to counteract the ongoing Sunni-led insurgency.

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