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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 17:08 UK

US air raid kills Iraq civilians

Aftermath of al-Dawr raid
The air strike was called "after multiple warnings", the US says

The US military says seven people, including three women civilians, have been killed in an air strike in Iraq.

The US said it was targeting insurgents in the village of al-Dawr, near Tikrit north of Baghdad, where Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003.

Witnesses are quoted as saying the attack happened after US troops had surrounded a compound in the village.

The village is home of a former leader of the Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who is still a fugitive.

A military statement said those killed included four suspected insurgents and three women. A child was pulled from the rubble of the building and was treated at a nearby US base.

It said the target was a man believed to be the leader of a bombing network in the area north of Baghdad.

Reports quote Iraqi officials and neighbours saying that the family whose members were killed in the air strike had no connection to the insurgency.

The US said its forces surrounded the compound and called for its occupants to surrender after the main suspect, who was armed, had shown "hostile intent" at a doorway and been shot dead by troops.

However, nobody emerged from the building for about one hour "despite multiple warnings" the statement said, and the troops called in the air strike.

"Sadly, this incident again shows that the terrorists repeatedly risk the lives of innocent women and children to further their evil work," said US military spokesman Colonel Jerry O'Hara.




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