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Samar Hassan screams after her parents were shot by US troops in Tal Afar in January 2005. Hussein and Camila Hassan died when they failed to stop their car at a checkpoint. Their five children survived. Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Patrolling a main road near Musayyib, south of Baghdad, one evening in September 2005, two US soldiers saw a vehicle approaching in the dark. They waved their arms and flashed lights that were meant to indicate it should stop. When the car continued to advance the troops fired warning shots. They then raised their M249 squad automatic weapons, a light machine gun that sprays bullets at colossal speed. Each man fired as many as 100 rounds at the car.
The predictable result was that the people in the front, a man and a woman, were killed. In the back their nine- and six-year-old children were lucky to survive with injuries in the thighs and legs.Face That Screamed War’s Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later
for The New York Times
Samar Hassan, with a relative, had never seen the photo of her, below, taken after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
By TIM ARANGO
Published: May 7, 2011
MOSUL, Iraq — Until the past week, Samar Hassan had never glimpsed the photograph of her that millions had seen, never knew it had become one of the most famous images of the Iraq war.
From the Archive: When a Photo of Samar Hassan First Appeared (January 19, 2005)
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Samar Hassan screamed after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2005.
Samar Hassan helps out around the house she shares with siblings and other relatives in Mosul, Iraq, but no longer attends school. Even in a traumatized country, her story is an unusual one.
“My brother was sick, and we were taking him to the hospital and on the way back, this happened,” Samar said. “We just heard bullets.
“My mother and father were killed, just like that.”
The image of Samar, then 5 years old, screaming and splattered in blood after American soldiers opened fire on her family’s car in the northern town of Tal Afar in January 2005, illuminated the horror of civilian casualties and has been one of the few images from this conflict to rise to the pantheon of classic war photography. The picture has gained renewed attention as part of a large body of work by Chris Hondros, the Getty Images photographer who was killed on the front lines in Misurata, Libya.
Now Samar lives on the outskirts of Mosul in a two-story house with four other families, mostly relatives.
…“When we go out and see a family, they get sad,” he said. Sometimes he finds the children in a room together, crying. “When they remember the accident, it’s like they just died.”
“It really seems to say something of what’s going on at the time,” Professor Kennedy said. “All the arbitrariness of the violence that was going on at that time is summed up by that girl.”
…“I always dream about my father and mother and brother,” Samar said.
Duraid Adnan contributed reporting. Here is original NYT Article Link