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Iraqi PM misquoted on Haditha massacre: US

The White House sought to soften criticism by Iraq's PM over allegations that US marines killed two dozen civilians in Haditha last November.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 10:23 IST

The White House sought on Friday to soften criticism by Iraq's Prime Minister over allegations that US marines killed two dozen unarmed civilians in the western town of Haditha last November.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had told US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad that he had been misquoted. Snow was unable to explain what al-Maliki told Khalilzad or how he had been misquoted.

"That is a little too complicated for me to try to read out," Snow said at a briefing where he was pressed to explain how al-Maliki's remarks were supposed to have been distorted. "It becomes a little convoluted, and so I don't want to make a real clear characterization because it's a little hazy to me," Snow said.

The prime minister was quoted on Thursday as saying the Haditha deaths were "a horrible crime."

He also was quoted as saying, "This is a phenomenon that has become common among many of the multinational forces. No respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars and killing on a suspicion or a hunch. It's unacceptable."

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 04:19 IST