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    Soldiers Tricked into Firing on Tiananmen: WikiLeaks


    by NTDTelevision

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    A US diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks gives new insight into the Tiananmen Square massacre. One soldier claims he was tricked into firing on armed protestors.

    We get a glimpse of the harrowing stories that circulated after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 from a cable recently released by WikiLeaks.

    The US Consulate cable, dated March 1990, gives an account of a PLA soldier who claims he was tricked into firing on civilian protestors in the square.

    The cable relays a story from an unnamed source. It describes what a soldier told his mother after the massacre:

    "He and his colleagues were all shooting in the air until word was passed through the ranks that one hundred of their number had disappeared—presumably killed by students. A quick check confirmed that over one hundred were missing. The soldier and his colleagues then became so upset that when ordered to shoot into the crowd, they opened fire with machine guns into the human wall before them."

    Yet the cable states that the 100 soldiers turned up again afterwards. This PLA unit was then confined to camp after the massacre, but the soldier referred to in the story did eventually get leave a year later.

    The cable goes on to tell how the soldier spent 20 days in a Christian church, begging for forgiveness.

    While the embassy cable speculates that the story may have been subject to a certain amount of, "embroidery," they say it does demonstrate the kinds of stories that circulated after the massacre.

    Amnesty International estimates about 1000 people were killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre, yet some estimates go up to 10-thousand. Beijing's mayor at the time claimed that only 200 civilians were killed.

    Ben Hedges