Saturday, March 22, 2008

US air strike kills six in Iraq

SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) - An air strike by a US Apache helicopter near the central Iraq city of Samarra on Saturday killed six Iraqis and wounded two, an anti-Qaeda leader and the American military said.

Abu Faruq, leader of an anti-Qaeda "Awakening" front in Samarra, said those killed were members of his group who had been manning a checkpoint when they came under attack.

The US military, however, said the assault had been launched after five people "were spotted conducting suspicious terrorist activity" in an area known for roadside bomb attacks near Samarra, 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad.


Abu Faruq insisted that the victims had all been Awakening members who had been wearing reflective vests -- the distinctive clothing of anti-Qaeda fighters -- and had been manning a checkpoint at the time of the attack.

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