Note that there are probably a certain amount of bodies buried under rubble that may or may not raise the numbers of civilian casualties in the coming weeks.
The battle of Fallujah has been described by even the U.S. military as the most intense since Vietnam.
The BBC reports:
Aid is finally flowing into Falluja, following the heavy US-led offensive that began nearly three weeks ago to wrest the city from rebel control.
The Iraqi Red Crescent told the BBC it was delivering aid on a daily basis.
But a spokesman says it is feared more than 6,000 people could have died in the assault and thousands of families are in critical need of assistance.
Convoys carrying food, water, medicine and blankets are moving around Falluja but there is still no running water or electricity.
According to the Red Crescent, 60 people came out to get assistance in one street alone.
In comments reported by the UN information network Irin, spokesman Muhammad al-Nuri said the Red Crescent believed more than 6,000 people may have died in the fight for Falluja.
He said it was difficult to move around the city due to the number of dead bodies.
"Bodies can be seen everywhere and people were crying when receiving the food parcels. It is very sad, it is a human disaster," Mr Nuri reportedly said.
While the U.S. military claims that the offensive in Fallujah was about to end, a humanitarian crisis, among the remaining residents in the city trapped in their houses, is looming.
On Saturday, a humanitarian convoy of the Iraqi Red Crescent carrying supplies and medicine arrived in Fallujah hospital after the U.S. troops allowed them to enter the city. However, they were then turned away and kept from reaching the city civilians in bad need of food, water, and medical treatment.
Camps of ran away civilians have been set up 4 miles north of Fallujah, and U.S. forces appear to have no logistical plans or transportation to get civilians from the battle-torn neighborhoods to the camp.
The most conservative of estimates suggest that 25,000 civilians inside the city are facing what U.S. commanders described as the military's most intense urban fighting since Vietnam.
Just now that the human toll is becoming clear, as the fighting intensifies and those who fled the city over the past week gather in refugee camps and narrate their stories."
It's all lies!
Of courrse the reason al-Jazeera isn't allowed into Iraq is for reporting like that.
On the 14th the Iraqi Health Minister reassured everyone it's all lies. Everyone is okay!
BAGHDAD- "Fears of a humanitarian crisis in Fallujah are groundless, Iraq's health minister said on Sunday, adding that only a small number of civilians appeared to have been wounded in the week-long battle.
The minister, Alaeddin Abdul Sahib Adwan, admitted however that he was unable to obtain information about residents in the thick of the fighting for the rebel-held city that was launched by US and Iraqi forces last Monday.
"The ministry of health is co-ordinating with the Iraqi military and the multinational forces in evacuating the civilian casualties, but so far the number has been very small," Adwan told AFP.
"We have about 20 civilian casualties," he said.
A further 400 civilians who were not in need of treatment have also been transported out of the city over the past 48 hours," he added"
See? Don't we all feel better now?
Of course, the press restrictions on the media keep anyone from reporting what the government doesn't like, so who knows?
Occupation Watch reported on the 15th
Citing the 60-day state of emergency declared by Allawi on the eve of the U.S. offensive against insurgents in Fallujah, the Higher Media Commission (HMC) directive said news media must differentiate between "innocent citizens" of the city and the insurgents.
t warned that journalists should not attach "patriotic descriptions to groups of killers and criminals," and urged the media to "set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear."
"You must be precise and objective in handling news and information," according to the statement, which was reported by Associated Press and Reuters. "We hope you comply ...otherwise we regret we will be forced take all the legal measures to guarantee higher national interests," it said, without elaboration.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPA) said it was "deeply disturbed" by the statement.
"We are very troubled by this directive, which is an attempt to control news coverage through government coercion," said CPJ's executive
director, Ann Cooper.
"It damages the government's credibility in establishing a free and democratic society."
Posted by bushmeister0 at 9:42 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 28 November 2004 1:18 AM EST