Combatants


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Related to Combatants: Enemy combatants

Combatants

 

the ones who are fighting; in international law, persons belonging to the armed forces of a warring side and directly engaged in combat action. Included as combatants are members of military militias, volunteer detachments, and resistance movements, as well as members of the population who have spontaneously taken up arms on the approach of an enemy. Participants in civil wars and wars of national liberation are considered combatants if they have a commander, bear arms openly, and observe the rules and customs of warfare in their actions.

Noncombatants include military journalists, supply and other service personnel, military law and medical personnel, and worker teams. Noncombatants are protected by the rules and customs of war if they have identification issued by appropriate military authorities. Violating the rules concerning combatants and noncombatants is considered an international crime, and persons guilty of such violation are looked upon as war criminals.

References in classic literature ?
The scouts departed; strong guards preceded and followed the lumbering vehicles that bore the baggage; and before the gray light of the morning was mellowed by the rays of the sun, the main body of the combatants wheeled into column, and left the encampment with a show of high military bearing, that served to drown the slumbering apprehensions of many a novice, who was now about to make his first essay in arms.
One of the combatants was disposed of, but whether friend or foe Wolfert could not tell, nor whether they might not both be foes.
With their sharp hooks the combatants attempted to take hold of an adversary, but like lightning the cupshaped shield would spring before the darting weapon and into its hollow the hook would plunge.
The combatants were so intent upon their murderous work that they did not notice the arrival of the balloon; there were about three hundred mingled confusedly in the deadly struggle: most of them, red with the blood of the wounded, in which they fairly wallowed, were horrible to behold.
They lay where they had fallen between the combatants.
It is time to pass to the other camp, and to describe at once the combatants and the field of battle.
The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and nearer to one another, beginning to see one another through the mist.
That David continuing to rejoice exceedingly in his word, the father spoke darkly of a cane, but the mother rushed between the combatants.
For a while the man and woman busied themselves only with keeping out of the way of the two creatures, but finally I saw them separate and each creep stealthily toward one of the combatants.
The small combatants pounded and kicked, scratched and tore.
When peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was apparent to both combatants.
Here the two combatants drew their swords and threw off their doublets, for neither had any defensive armor.

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