The Corner

The First Market Bombing Was Not Us

Tony Blair on Abu Dhabi

On the question of civilian casualties, you will tell me that allied forces have not targeted at any time the Iraqi civilians?

PRIME MINISTER:

Absolutely not. Now two things I would say to you on that. The first is I would just ask people to be really cautious of these reports. Those Baghdad street market bombs for example, we are sure that the first one is not coalition forces. We are still trying to check out the second one. Yet I understand when people see the carnage and the bloodshed they feel very angry about it. But I ask people not to treat these reports as correct until they are actually proven. And the second thing is to realise yes there will be innocent civilians that are killed, but we have done everything we possibly can to minimise them, and as I say measure that against the things that people don’t see, the inside of Saddam’s prisons, the Shia Muslims driven from their homeland, those in the north persecuted and killed, had chemical weapons used against them. All I ask is that people have a sense of balance, and I think you will find that for most people in Iraq, and this is a judgement that will be made later, life will be better.

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