Sahwa leader defends army shelling of Fallujah hospital

He claimed the hospital has become a center for treating wounded militants

Sahwa leader defends army shelling of Fallujah hospital

A tribal leader of the pro-government Al-Sahwa Sunni militia defended on Sunday the Iraqi army's shelling of the state-run hospital in the restive city of Fallujah.

"The army's artillery and mortar shelling of Fallujah General Hospital came after militant groups had taken control of its courtyard," Ahmed Abu Risha told Anadolu Agency.

He suggested that the hospital has turned into a treatment center for wounded militants who control Fallujah.

The Sunni militia was established by tribesmen in Iraq in 2006 to fight against militants alongside Iraqi and US troops.

However, the hospital spokesman Wissam al-Essawi denied such allegations.

"Only the staff of the hospital and Fallujah residents who come to visit relatives injured in army shelling of their homes are present in the hospital," al-Essawi told AA.

He urged the army to stop targeting the hospital.

The Iraqi army was not immediately available for comment on the shelling of the hospital.

The Iraqi army has been waging a major military operation in Fallujah and Ramadi, the two main cities of the Anbar province, since December with the stated aim of flushing out militants.

Hundreds have been killed and injured since violence broke out, according to government estimates.

AA

Last Mod: 10 Mart 2014, 11:16
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