Autopsy finds Gaza ship dead peppered with bullets: report

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Autopsy results on the bodies of nine Turks killed in an Israeli raid on an aid ship to Gaza found they were peppered with bullets and many were shot at close range, a British newspaper said Saturday.

Citing Yalcin Buyuk, the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice Friday, The Guardian said the men were shot a total of 30 times.

One 60-year-old man was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back, while a US-Turkish citizen was shot five times at close range in the face, the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back, the paper said.

Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, Buyuk said.

The Israeli authorities and the activists had conflicting versions of what happened during the deadly pre-dawn raid on the aid ship on Monday.

Israel has said the commandos only opened fire after they came under attack with clubs, knives, guns and other weapons.

Bulent Yildirim, head of the Islamic charity Foundation of Humanitarian Relief, which spearheaded the Gaza aid fleet, said activists used iron bars in self-defence after Israeli soldiers fired indiscriminately when they stormed the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara.

© 2010 AFP

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