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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Update: In Iraq, boy's shooting investigation goes on

Investigation of the shooting death of an unarmed Iraqi boy in Karbala, Iraq, is ongoing, says Maj. Pete Mitchell of U.S. Central Command Public Affairs at McDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Army Capt. Glenn Palmer, an ELCA chaplain serving with the 2nd battalion, reported the shooting to his command April 9 after two soldiers who witnessed the incident came to him (June, page 14). They told him the boy's shooting by two U.S. infantry soldiers was unprovoked.

Interviewed by e-mail, Palmer said the rules of war require him to promptly report possible war crimes to ensure investigation.

"I was able to minister to the two soldiers who witnessed the incident and reported it me," Palmer said. "I assured them ... that they did the hard, right thing. One soldier chose to get out of the Army and the other, a career ... officer of 14 years, is still angry and upset about the whole incident and its aftermath."

He says he prays all involved in the Karbala shooting will be "touched by God's grace" so there will be "confession, repentance and healing."


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