An unclassified U.S. diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks contains claims that U.S. forces executed ten Iraqi civilians, half of whom were children aged five or younger, in 2006 and then tried to cover it up.
McClatchy reports that questions from a local U.N. investigator in Iraq, and from Philip Alston, the organization's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to U.S. military were ignored and have still not been addressed, five years later.
Alston's memo noted that the bodies of the dead civilians, who had all been shot in the head, were handcuffed.
Digital Journal notes that at the time the executions took place:
U.S. military officials in Iraq said eyewitness accounts of the incident were likely false, and later said the matter warranted no further investigation. The officials refused to reveal unit identities which might have taken part in the killings.
The Pentagon has not commented on the allegations raised by the new cable.