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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 12:40 GMT
US admits troops shot Iraqi mayor
US soldier arrests Iraqi in Baghdad
US troops have frequently been accused of being heavy-handed
The US military has confirmed that one of its soldiers shot dead the mayor of a highly volatile Baghdad district.

Mohannad Gazi al-Kaabi, who was appointed by the US authorities to run the largely Shia Muslim area of Sadr City in Baghdad, died on Sunday.

He was shot during an altercation with US troops at the local council's compound.

US Central Command says it is still investigating the incident in the area where US-Iraqi tensions are high.

It appears that the American soldiers stopped the mayor from driving into the Sadr City council compound, in line with rules to prevent car bombings.

The mayor took exception and began to fight with one of the guards.

Another soldier fired warning shots and finally shot the mayor in the upper leg. He bled to death.

Funeral

Relatives buried the mayor on Monday, though without the numbers of mourners that might be expected at the funeral of a popular local leader.

The BBC's Peter Greste, in Baghdad, says al-Kaabi was seen as a collaborator rather than a local representative after his appointment by the Americans.

He adds that there is considerable friction in Sadr City between Iraqis and American forces, and this incident will do nothing to improve relations.

Sadr City was formerly named Saddam City.

Despite bearing the name of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, it is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city.


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