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According to the AP investigation, early in the Korean War, U.S. soldiers had machine-gunned hundreds of helpless civilians, under the railway bridge at No Gun Ri. The AP investigation is supported by 12 ex-U.S.. soldiers who have supported the claims made by South Korean survivors surrounding the massacre. As well as at least 300 civilians killed in this attack. another had 100 died in a preceding air attack. U.S. commanders had ordered units retreating through South Korea to "shoot civilians" as a defense against disguised enemy soldiers - itself is a major war crime.|
Six former members of the 1st Cavalry Division say that they fired on the refugees trapped under the bridge at No Gun Ri, and AP found six others who say said they witnessed the mass killing. Some soldiers refused to shoot what one described as "civilians just trying to hide." Another soldier at the scene described the event as "wholesale slaughter".
The massacre had started when U.S. planes strafed an area near the tunnel where the refugees were resting. With scores killed, terrified parents dragged their children into a narrow culvert beneath the tracks. After this, the survivors were directed into the bridge underpasses - and after dark, U.S. soldiers opened fire on them from nearby machine-gun positions. Apparently, one senior officer, Captain Melbourne Chandler, after speaking with superior officers by radio, had ordered machine-gunners from his heavy-weapons company to set up near the tunnel mouths and open fire after saying:
"The hell with all those people. Let's get rid of all of them"
The bursts of gunfire killed those near the tunnel entrances first, which left Korean civilians pulling dead bodies around them for protection. During three nights under fire, some trapped refugees managed to slip away, but others were shot as they tried to escape or crawled out to find clean water to drink. Some U.S. soldiers said that the massacre at No Gun Ri didn't have to happen: As the U.S. army was scared that these refugee columns contained agents from North Korea, the refugees could have been screened up on the road or checked out under the bridge. But the US army command took the decision to massacre them all.