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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 21:16 GMT 22:16 UK
Iraqis not focused on massacre claims
By Ian Pannell
BBC News, Baghdad

An Iraqi man carries his wounded son after a bomb attack
Most Iraqis have more pressing concerns than the allegations
In the last week more details have emerged about incidents in which US forces are accused of deliberately killing civilians - in Haditha, Ishaqi and Hamdaniya. But in Iraq, the reaction to these cases has been rather subdued.

The new prime minister has ordered his own investigation. He said he will ask the United States for the files from their investigations into these cases.

He was reported to have been critical of the conduct of coalition forces. But he has also been under some pressure to offer a forthright response.

The have been some media reports about the revelations, a few column inches in the newspapers and the odd report on television.

But there has not been any widespread indignation - certainly nothing similar to the outrage expressed in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Thousands dead

There are a number of possible reasons for this. One is that many Iraqis already believe that civilians are targeted on a daily basis by coalition forces - whether accidentally or deliberately.

Another is that people have become used to images of alleged massacres and attacks - sometimes these are even made available on DVDs in markets or used by militant groups to recruit new fighters.

But perhaps the main reason is that people actually have more pressing concerns.

More than a thousand people are being killed every month in the country. The sectarian divide in places like Baghdad is growing daily.

There is little fresh drinking water, electricity supplies are sporadic, petrol is scarce and jobs are in short supply.

Although there may be anger about allegations that their fellow citizens have been killed by foreign troops, few people have the time to dwell upon it.

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