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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 01:20 GMT 02:20 UK
Marine sorry for Iraq deaths song
US marines in Iraq
Joshua Belile insisted his song was a work of fiction
A US marine has apologised after a video spread on the internet of him singing a song about the killing of Iraqi civilians.

Cpl Joshua Belile, 23, said the song had been written as a joke and was never intended to cause offence.

The Marine Corps has described the song as "inappropriate" and is investigating the incident.

Cpl Belile denied the song had any connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians at Haditha last year.

"It's a song that I made up and it was nothing more than something supposed to be funny, based off a catchy line of a movie," he said.

Language barrier

The chorus of the song, called Hadji Girl, reprises a popular line from the popular puppet movie Team America, a satire based on the US war on terror.

Both the film and Cpl Belile's song mock the language barrier between English-speaking troops and the Arabic-speaking world, using the phrase "durka durka Muhammad jihad" to represent Arabic speech.

This is in no way, shape or form related to the events that happened at Haditha
Cpl Joshua Belile

Cpl Belile's song told the story of a US marine who meets an Iraqi girl while under attack in Iraq.

Instantly falling in love - despite the language barrier - he follows her home to meet her parents, only to find himself ambushed by her father and brother.

In the closing lines of the song, the focus of most attention, Cpl Belile's marine grabs the girl's little sister as he comes under attack.

"As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally," he sang.

The song, cheered on by its audience throughout, ends with the marine returning fire on the Iraqis.

Apology welcome

The footage, apparently shot in Iraq, emerged on the video-sharing website YouTube.

It came as the marines faced controversy over the alleged killing of two dozen Iraqi civilians at Haditha last November.

But Cpl Belile told the Jacksonville Daily News that the song was written long before events in Haditha and was a work of fiction.

"I apologise for any feelings that may have been hurt in the Muslim community," he added.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which highlighted the song, welcomed his apology.

It added that the "inappropriate actions of a few individuals should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of all American military personnel."

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