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Iraq VP calls for UN investigation into civilian deaths

[JURIST] Allegations that members of the US military killed civilians in Iraq [JURIST news archive] should be investigated by the United Nations [official website] and an Iraqi-US committee, Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi [CFR profile] said Monday. Al-Hashimi, a Sunni, described the allegations, along with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal [JURIST news archive], as part of a pattern of human rights violations by occupation forces.

Several investigations of Iraqi civilian deaths are already under way. An aide to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] has said Iraq will probe the deaths of 11 civilians at Ishaqi [JURIST report] following the US military's announcement that US troops had been cleared of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the US Defense Department [official website] continues to investigate allegations that US Marines killed 24 civilians last year at Haditha [JURIST news archive]. A preliminary inquiry reportedly suggests the killings were not provoked [JURIST report], and the Iraqi Cabinet is planning to investigate [JURIST report] the Haditha deaths as well. In a separate incident in Hamandiya, a defense lawyer has said that military prosecutors plan to file murder and conspiracy charges [JURIST report] against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman. AFP has more.

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