Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bombing for flowers ......

U.S. Raid in Iraq Leaves 11 Dead
Victims Are Mostly Women and Children

ISAHAQI, Iraq (AP) - Eleven people -- mostly women and children -- were killed when a house was bombed during a U.S. raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said.

The U.S. military acknowledged four deaths -- a man, two women and a child -- in the raid that they said netted an insurgent suspect in the rural Isahaqi area, about 50 miles north of the capital.

The victims, some wrapped in blankets, were driven in the back of three pickup trucks to the Tikrit General Hospital, about 45 miles to the north, relatives said.

Associated Press photographs showed the bodies of two men, five children and four other covered figures arriving at the hospital accompanied by grief-stricken relatives.

Riyadh Majid, who identified himself as the nephew of the killed head of the family -- Faez Khalaf -- told AP at the hospital that U.S. forces landed in helicopters and raided the home early Wednesday.

Khalaf's brother, Ahmed, said nine of the victims were family members who lived at the house and two were unidentified visitors.

"The killed family was not part of the resistance; they were women and children," Ahmed Khalaf said. "The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death."

The U.S. military said it was targeting and captured an individual suspected of supporting foreign fighters for al-Qaida in Iraq.

"Troops were engaged by enemy fire as they approached the building," said Tech. Sgt. Stacy Simon, a military spokeswoman. "Coalition forces returned fire utilizing both air and ground assets. The targeted individual was detained during this raid."

The building and a vehicle were destroyed, the military said.

Police Capt. Laith Mohammed, in nearby Samarra, said American warplanes and armor were used in the strike, which destroyed the house. The 11 people inside were killed, he said.

An AP reporter at the scene said the roof of the house collapsed, three cars were destroyed and two cows were killed.

3/15/2006 06:47:34


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