U.S. strike kills civilians, Iraqis say

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 19, 2008 

BAGHDAD — At least eight civilians, all from one family and including women, were killed in a U.S. raid and airstrike Friday near Tikrit, Iraqi police and witnesses said.

The attack, which a U.S. military statement said targeted a “terrorist” accused of running a bomb-making ring, was in the town of Dawr, northwest of Baghdad.

American forces surrounded a building early Friday morning and called for the people inside to come out. They refused, the statement said. An armed man appeared in the doorway, and the U.S. troops shot him. American aircraft struck later, killing three more suspected terrorists and three women, according to the statement. A child was rescued from the rubble, but no children were killed, the statement said.

Two people were seen running from the home and into a nearby mosque. Iraqi forces went into the mosque and arrested one man.

Witnesses and police contested that story, however, saying that the men targeted were civilians.

Khaleel al Doori, a neighbor, said his home was raided during the operation and that the American forces had used a loudspeaker to order people not to leave their homes. Doori said the U.S. troops shot a man and his wife.

After Friday prayers, hundreds of residents took to the streets condemning the incident and chanting, “There is no God but one God, and America is the enemy of God.”

(Hammoudi is a McClatchy special correspondent.)

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