South Koreans break backs of suspected guerillas

By RUTHERFORD POATS  |  July 10 1950
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SOMEWHERE IN KOREA, July 10, 1950 (UP) - The South Koreans deal out quick punishment to suspected Communist guerillas behind their lines. They break their backs, then execute them.

United Nations Military Observer R.J. Rankin of Australia and I discovered this today when we came upon two open trucks parked in front of a grove overlooking a river.

Some 40 persons were crouched on all fours in the back of one of the trucks. A Korean policeman stood in the middle of this mass and crashed the butt of his American rifle into the back of one after another of the kneeling men.

Their backs broke with a sickening crunch which could be heard 100 yards away.

Rankin hunted up an English-speaking policeman and asked an explanation.

"Guerillas," said the policeman with a gesture at their backs.

He indicated that the prisoners would be taken to nearby woods and executed. But it seemed unlikely that many would live long enough for the formal execution.

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