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Doctors Reportedly Deny Iraqis Took Away Babies’ Incubators

<i> Reuters</i>

Iraqi soldiers did not cause the deaths of premature Kuwaiti babies by taking away their incubators, ABC television reported Friday, contradicting an often-cited report of atrocities in Kuwait.

ABC World News quoted the director of Kuwait’s primary health care system, Dr. Mohammed Matar, and his wife, Dr. Fayeza Youssef, who ran the maternity hospital, as saying the 312 babies died because no one stayed to care for them.

President Bush has frequently cited the infants’ deaths as an example of what he said was Iraq’s brutal treatment of innocent Kuwaitis.

“No, they didn’t take them away from the incubator,” Youssef told the television network. “To tell the truth, there was no service, no nurses to take care of these babies, and that’s why they died.”

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Matar said the widespread reports about the babies were “just for propaganda.”

Both said patients in the hospitals died because hospital workers fled the country in terror after the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion.

The Red Crescent Society, the equivalent of the Red Cross, originally reported the atrocity after finding the babies dead and their incubators missing.

But the society now says the medical records of how the babies died have been destroyed. ABC said the incubators have been found, locked away in storage rooms to prevent Iraqi troops from taking them.

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