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Turkish court acquits 13 villagers of 2003 attack on U.S. troops

Turkish court acquits 13 villagers of 2003 attack on U.S. troops

A court on Wednesday acquitted 13 villagers of attacking U.S. troops with stones and eggs after pieces of an errant U.S. Tomahawk missile fell near their village in 2003.
The court, bringing an end to a trial that began more than three years ago, said the villagers' actions did not constitute a crime. Defense lawyer Seyhmus Ulek said the incident was "a democratic reaction against American soldiers."
Some 75 villagers from the southeastern town of Sanliurfa hurled eggs and stones at a group of about a dozen U.S. soldiers going to retrieve pieces of the navy-fired missile that crashed into an empty Turkish field in March 2003.
The villagers broke the windows of four Humvees and injured one soldier, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Turkey said at the time.
The Tomahawk missile, intended for Iraq, was the third U.S.-fired missile to crash into Turkey that week.
Tomahawk missiles are fired from warships and submarines and have a range of nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers). The soldiers who went to retrieve the missile came from Incirlik Air Force Base, a major base in southern Turkey that had been used by the U.S. to launch operations into Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States and Turkey are traditionally close allies and field the two largest armies in the NATO military alliance.


Updated : 2021-05-17 03:49 GMT+08:00