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News Link • WAR: About that War

ANALYSIS: A few thousand dollars - the price of life for civilians killed in war zones

• Crina Boros, Craig Shaw and Karrie Kehoe, Trust

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When U.S. soldiers still patrolled the streets of Mosul in northern Iraq, a local man went for a walk to get some ice cream. Gunfire broke out and he was shot dead by U.S. troops. 

Documents released by U.S. forces do not say why he was shot but show they gave his wife $2,500 and his child a "condolence gift" of $1,000.

Those payments, following the shooting on May 2, 2005, are among thousands the United States and its allies have made to civilians caught up in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in response to deaths, wounds or property damage involving Western forces.

While local people have sometimes complained that the payments are too low, rights activists have praised the military for making them. But they say such payouts have often been inconsistent and done on an ad-hoc basis.

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