The radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr has lost control of portions of his Mahdi Army militia that are splintering off into freelance death squads and criminal gangs, a senior coalition intelligence official said Wednesday.
A quarter of a million Iraqis have fled their homes and registered as refugees in the past seven months, data released on Thursday showed, amid an upsurge in violence that has accompanied the Ramadan holy month.
A dramatic home video obtained by ABC News shows U.S. troops apparently abandoned a truck convoy after it came under insurgent attack in Iraq last year.
Three unarmed Halliburton truck drivers were executed at point-blank range once the troops left, according to a surviving driver, Preston Wheeler, of Mena, Ark., who taped the scene. “They was murdered. To me, they was murdered,” Wheeler told ABC News in an exclusive interview broadcast Wednesday on World News and Nightline.
The tape shows an armored personnel carrier leading the trucks that Wheeler says was from the Virginia National Guard. Once insurgents opened fire and disabled four trucks, the personnel carrier can be seen racing ahead.
“They left. They, I don’t know where they went, they’re nowhere to be seen,” Wheeler said. Wheeler says it was 45 minutes before a U.S. military force returned.
By then, Wheeler says, he had seen two drivers shot at point-blank range. He identified them as Keven Dagit, of Jefferson, Iowa, and Sascha Greener-Case, of Sierra Vista, Ariz.