posted on Apr, 8 2003 @ 01:37 AM
Killing a child: 'I did what I had to do'
April 8 2003, 12:49 PM
When a young Iraqi boy stooped to pick up a rocket propelled grenade off the body of a dead paramilitary, US Army Private Nick Boggs made his
He unloaded machinegun fire and the boy, whom he puts at about 10 years old, fell dead on a garbage-strewn stretch of waste land at Karbala.
Boggs, a softly spoken 21-year-old former hunting guide from Alaska, says he knew when he joined the army 18 months ago he might someday have to make
a decision like that.
He hoped it would never come and, although he has no regrets about opening fire, it is clear he'd rather it wasn't a child he killed.
"I did what I had to do. I don't have a big problem with it but anyone who shoots a little kid has to feel something," he said after fierce weekend
fighting in this Shi'ite Muslim holy city that left dozens of Iraqis and one American soldier dead.
As US troops take the Iraq war out of the desert and into the main cities, they are increasingly seeing children in their line of fire.
Many are innocent civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time and military officers concede that some may have been killed in artillery or mortar
fire, or shot down by soldiers whose judgment is impaired in the "fog of war".