U.S. military admits error in news releases
Statements had similar quotes from 'unidentified Iraqi'
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BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The U.S. military expressed regret Monday for issuing news releases about two separate attacks in Iraq that included almost identical quotes attributed to an unidentified Iraqi.
In both statements, the military quoted an Iraqi calling the attackers "enemies of humanity" and vowing to "take the fight to the terrorists," the latter an expression President Bush frequently has used in speeches.
In the first news release, issued after a July 13 Baghdad bombing that killed mostly youngsters, an unidentified Iraqi spoke of terrorists attacking "the children."
In the second release, sent out after an attack Sunday near a police station in the capital, an unidentified Iraqi referred to strikes on "the ISF," or Iraqi Security Forces.
Task Force Baghdad with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division released both statements.
After the media contacted officials Sunday on the similarities, the military reissued the latest release without the quote.
"Task Force Baghdad Public Affairs regrets the confusion regarding two press releases issued in support of our operations July 24," said a statement Monday.
Although not referring to the quote in Sunday's release, it said there was "a draft press release which, due to an administrative error, was mistakenly issued on behalf of the 3rd Infantry Division."
Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division, also spoke Sunday of an "administrative error."
Kent did not explain why the quote apparently was changed to apply to the latest attack.
Below are the two news releases from the U.S. military with the similar quotes:
" 'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."
From July 13:
" 'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.' "
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