Iraq killings ‘may be deliberate attack’
9 December 2003
MADRID – The seven intelligence agents killed in Iraq could have been deliberately targetted by Saddam Hussein’s resistance guerillas, the Defence Minister admitted Tuesday.
Federico Trillo and Jorge Dezcallar, the director of Spain’s secret intelligence agency CNI, said the murdered agents could have been the victims of a carefully planned ambush by resistance fighters.
However, they could also have been killed by attackers who did not know they were intelligence agents, said the government minister and the spy chief.
Eight agents of the CNI serving in Iraq were attacked as their convoy drove near Bagdad ten days ago on 29 November. Seven were killed in the attack.
The nation was shocked by graphic television pictures which appeared to show Iraqis gloating over the corpses of the murdered agents.
The agents were buried in state funerals last week and prime minister Jose Maria Aznar declared it a national day of mourning.
Trillo and Dezcallar will address Spain’s parliament Wednesday about the tragedy which has focused attention sharply on Spain’s involvement in the occupation of Iraq.
The CNI has insisted that the cars driven by the agents were “without registration numbers or any other distinctive marking” – suggesting that it was not a deliberate attack.
The ambush happened near Diwanyah, the headquarters of the Spanish military contingent in Iraq.
The only survivor escaped from a lynch-mob with the help of Iraqi policemen.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news