One wonders which is worse: the actual deaths of the two soldiers in the course of duty. Or the way Prime Minister Tony Blair embarked on a policy that ultimately sent these two soldiers to their death. And then lied about the way they died in order to gain political capitol. Ed.
LONDON (AFP) – The family of one of two dead British soldiers whose bodies were displayed on Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera has accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of “lying” when he charged the men were executed by Iraqi forces, British media reported Friday.
Such claims are “lies,” the sister of Sapper Luke Allsopp told the Daily Mirror. Nina Allsopp said officers from his barracks told her he had died on the spot in battle.
Al-Jazeera’s images of the bloodstained bodies of the two men, who disappeared Sunday after being caught in crossfire outside the southern Iraqi city of Basra, were splashed across front pages in Britain on Thursday, provoking widespread outrage.
A clearly angry Blair said at a news conference in Camp David outside Washington that the two men shown on Al-Jazeera television had been “executed”.
“If anyone needed any further evidence of the depravity of Saddam’s regime, this atrocity provides it. It is yet one more flagrant breach of all the proper conventions of war,” Blair told reporters.
But Nina Allsopp angrily refuted Blair’s accusations.
“It makes a big difference to use knowing that he died quickly,” she told the Mirror.
“We can’t understand why people are lying about what happened. It must be a mistake. It’s important to us that people know the truth, that people know what really happened.”
The British defense ministry said the incident took the lives of Allsopp, 24 and from north London and 36-year-old staff sergeant Simon Cullingworth from Essex.
The Qatar-based news channel has come in for severe criticism for broadcasting images of both dead and wounded US and British soldiers. Both Washington and London have said such pictures violate the Geneva Conventions.