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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 13:50 GMT
Row over killing of Iraqi family
Grieving relatives after al-Dawr raid
Relatives grieved in their small home still soaked in blood
An Iraqi couple and their son, 19, have been killed when US soldiers stormed a tiny one-room house north of Baghdad.

The US military says its troops killed the two men in self-defence after gunfire came from the house, but local people say the victims were unarmed.

At least one of the couple's daughters was also wounded in the raid, in the village of al-Dawr, near Tikrit.

The military said it was unclear who had fired at the female casualties and the incident is being investigated.

Separately, a suicide bomber reportedly killed eight members of an anti-al-Qaeda militia outside a Sunni Arab tribal leader's house in central Iraq.

The attack took place in Awad village near Taji about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Baghdad, a police officer said.

'Immediate fire'

A cousin of the those killed in al-Dawr (about 175km or 110 miles north of Baghdad) said he watched the killings from his house across the street.

Karim Hamad told Associated Press news agency that at about 2300 local time on Monday night US soldiers opened the door to the house and immediately opened fire, killing or injuring its unarmed occupants.


He identified the dead as Ali Hamad Shihab, 55, and his wife Naima Sulaiman, 40, and their son Diya, who was a member of a US-backed anti-al-Qaeda militia.

He said the two wounded daughters were transported to hospitals and one of them had died.

AP says an Iraqi police officer speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed Mr Hamad's account.

The area is a Sunni Arab stronghold which is home to many former members of Saddam Hussein's regime. Al-Dawr was where the executed former leader was captured by US forces in 2003.

The US military said the raid was based on intelligence from an informant.

It expressed regret at "the loss of an innocent civilian (in reference to Ms Sulaiman) and the wounding of the child, who is currently receiving medical care" at a US military hospital.

The US statement did not mention the girl said to have died, who may have been taken to an Iraqi hospital.

Correspondents say killings of Iraqi civilians by US soldiers have put strains the relations between the US and Iraq.

On Monday the military said US troops had killed nine civilians, including a child, in strikes south of Baghdad on Saturday.

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