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Rioters Stab L.A. Times Reporter

Times Staff Writer

In the middle of a riot Tuesday, a group helping a man with a long, deep gash on his forehead asked whether I would photograph them. When I did, about 300 people rushed me, shouting, “American! American!”

As the mob approached, I saw that I had no escape. The only thing that kept them at bay -- for several minutes anyway -- was a group of about 20 people who tried to fend off my attackers.

“He’s innocent! He’s innocent!” shouted one man. “Leave him alone!”

But the mob wanted blood, and I could see two men who had pulled out knives.

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“Let me through -- I want to kill him!” screamed one.

After several minutes of struggling and stone-throwing, the mob knocked me to the ground and kicked me repeatedly in the head and back before stabbing me in the buttocks.

My defenders managed to drag me into a restaurant and the mob smashed the windows and door before the owner was able to pull down the metal security shutter. Just then, U.S. troops opened fire and the mob gave up the chase. Two of my defenders, who were Arabs, brought me and my Kurdish translator to the Mosul governor’s building, where the Americans had taken up positions.


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