Christian peace activists report hospital bombing
A group of Christian peace activists in Iraq is receiving calls from around the world after providing the first confirmation of a hospital being bombed in Iraq.
Lia Wilson, a volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams who recently left Baghdad, said the group was cited in a UN press briefing as having confirmed the bombing, and calls have been flooding in ever since.
"Apparently they had absolutely zero international eyewitnesses to the bombing and the UN could not confirm that it had been bombed," Wilson said in a telephone interview from Amman, in Jordan.
"We are the only people that have been able to confirm it."
Wilson, 22, said she did not know whether it would have been possible to identify the building as a hospital from the air.
"It makes absolutely no sense to us, because there's nothing near it, no possible target that would be near it," she said.
Wilson entered Baghdad last week and, along with several others, took pictures of the damage after heavy bombing.
But an official from the Iraqi foreign affairs ministry told them they had no permission to take the photos and ordered the workers' expulsions
The group discovered the bombed hospital when they were travelling in three taxis, along an almost deserted highway, when a tire blew on one of their taxis, causing it to turn over into a ditch.
The injured were taken to the town of Rutba, off the main road, in search of medical help. When they asked for the local hospital, people pointed to a pile of rubble.
"They grabbed us by the arm and said, 'Tell the people in America about this, tell everyone about this,' because we were the first people that had been there in three days."
They received medical help from a doctor at an improvised four-bed facility. One member of the group was given 10 stitches in the head with no anesthetic because the doctor had none.
Christian Peacemaker Teams are volunteers who go into zones of conflict to support local people, and to provide information to outsiders.