Page last updated at 23:33 GMT, Saturday, 25 October 2008 00:33 UK

Iraqi party protests at shooting

Iraqi soldiers search a house south of Baghdad, October 2008
Iraqi troops often carry out operations with close US support

The largest Sunni party in Iraq says it is suspending all official contacts with US civilian and military personnel after the killing of a man in Fallujah.

The Iraqi Islamic Party said the dead man was one of its senior members and that he had been killed during a joint US-Iraqi raid on Friday.

The party alleged that the raid had been politically motivated.

The US military acknowledge that one man was killed and another arrested during a raid in the city.

Fallujah was the scene of heavy fighting four years ago but has become more peaceful since the US military and local tribes started co-operating in 2006.

In a statement on its website, the Iraqi Islamic Party said that a senior party member had been killed in his bed, and five others had been arrested, during a raid in the Halabsa area of Fallujah.

"The hidden political motive behind this incident is clear," it said.

As a consequence, the party had "decided to suspend all official contacts with the Americans, both military and civilians, until the party receives a reasonable explanation about what happened, along with an official apology".

It also demanded an assurance that those responsible would be punished, compensation for the victims and the release of the five detainees.

According to the US military, US-backed Iraqi soldiers killed an armed man who had opened fire when they went to arrest a "wanted insurgent leader suspected of training roadside bomb cells", the Associated Press reports.

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