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UN report cites multinational forces
Updated: 2005-11-15 09:56

The Iraqi army and multinational forces violated international law during military operations in western Iraq last month by arresting doctors and occupying medical facilities, a U.N. report said Monday.

The five-page report, from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, said military operations by the two forces had "a negative impact on human rights" and cited figures that more than 10,000 families have been displaced in two restive provinces — Anbar and Nineveh — alone.

Covering the period of Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, it said the United Nations has repeatedly sought to draw attention to the issue of detained doctors and occupied medical facilities during October military operations in Anbar.

"Such actions are contrary to international law governing armed conflict and in any event they constitute a denial of the protection of international human rights law," the report said.

The U.N. drafters of the document also suggested that U.S. forces may be using too much force in their operations, though they stopped short of saying so.

The costs paid by civilians during military action should lead to "further reflection on the nature of the conflict and on the proportionality of the use of force," it said.

Richard Grenell, the spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, refused to comment on the report. A spokesman at the U.S. Department of Defense did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The review focused on several areas, including the overall human rights situation, detention and rule of law. It said there were 23,394 detainees in Iraq, with 11,559 of them held by multinational forces.

"There is an urgent need to provide remedy to lengthy internment for reasons of security without adequate judicial oversight," the report said.

Citing "open sources," the report said that random killings and terrorist actions had killed or wounded 26,000 people since 2004, with over 30,000 civilians killed in Iraq since March, 2003. The report did not break down the numbers or specify the sources.

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