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Monday, 19 February, 2001, 20:15 GMT
Bombing raids will lead to 'isolation'
George Galloway MP
George Galloway with an alleged victim of the bombing
A Labour MP has accused Britain and the United States of courting international isolation following last week's bombing raid on Iraq.

George Galloway made the allegation as he visited people allegedly injured during Friday's air raid.

Mr Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin, has been a long standing critic of sanctions imposed against Iraq.

Visiting the Al-Yarmouk hospital in Baghdad on Monday, Mr Galloway said the US-British operation was a "savage act" that does not conform "to reason or humane logic".

Iraqi women
Iraqi women protest against the bombings

Mr Galloway met seven people who were allegedly injured in the bombings on Friday night.

He said: "The negative reactions of the international community to these attacks have left Britain and America dreadfully isolated."

Mr Galloway told how he met three members of the same family who were among the victims.

"One woman was in a critical condition and had received emergency surgery after shrapnel became lodged in her abdomen," he said.

"Her son and daughter are both college students and they sustained shrapnel wounds to their right arms and are unsure if they will be able to resume their studies.

"They were walking along the street when they were hit by the same bomb."

It is the most pitiful excuse for attacking somebody's country that I have heard in my lifetime

George Galloway MP

Mr Galloway also met a 12-year-old boy, a 13-year-old boy and a 18-year-old girl who were all injured in the bombings.

He said: "The victims all had shrapnel wounds to their limbs, legs and arms and were pretty badly sliced up."

The MP added that he had seen worse sights on previous visits to Iraq, including a baby with two heads caused by depleted uranium.

However, he said the circumstances surrounding his current visit made it a difficult experience.

He said: "It was very distressing to see young lives shattered.

Fired in anger

"Burning hot steel spinning around civilian streets does a lot of damage and what makes this particularly shocking is that everyone believed that this sort of thing was behind them.

"No rockets had been fired in anger for two years."

Mr Galloway condemned the logic behind the attacks, which he claimed killed three people.

He said: "It would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

"It is the most pitiful excuse for attacking somebody's country that I have heard in my lifetime. If the policy is so good, how come only Britain and the US are doing it?"

Mariam Hamza
Four-year-old Mariam Hamza was brought to Britain for treatment
Mr Galloway has long campaigned for the sanctions, imposed on Iraq at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, to be lifted.

Three years ago, Mr Galloway was responsible for bringing four-year-old Iraqi girl Mariam Hamza to Britain for leukaemia treatment.

He alleged she was just one of thousands of Iraqi children dying because of United Nations sanctions.

Mr Galloway, who has described the UN sanctions against Iraq as "one of the great crimes of the 20th century", has also travelled from London to Baghdad in a double-decker bus to draw attention to the alleged suffering caused by the embargo.

And he attempted to organise the first direct civilian flight between the UK and Baghdad since the war, to carry medicines, aid workers and doctors to Iraq.

The rebel MP was also among 379 people arrested on 14 February during a protest at Faslane on the river Clyde, the home of Britain's Trident nuclear submarine fleet.

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See also:

19 Feb 01 | UK Politics
Blair defiant over Iraqi air strikes
17 Feb 01 | Middle East
Iraq defiant as allies strike
18 Feb 01 | Scotland
Labour MP attacks bombing raids
17 Feb 01 | Middle East
Iraqi press calls for revenge
17 Feb 01 | Middle East
Little support for Iraq attack
16 Feb 01 | Middle East
Analysis: A tougher line?
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