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U.S. says 9 Iraq civilians accidentally killed

04.02.2008 09:32

The U.S. military said on Monday it had accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians, including a child, while pursuing al Qaeda fighters south of Baghdad.

Three other civilians, including two more children, were wounded in the incident on Saturday near Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. The wounded were taken to U.S. military hospitals for treatment.

"We offer our condolences to the families of those who were killed in the incident and we mourn the loss of innocent civilian life," the U.S. military said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

No other details were immediately available from the military but Iraqi police said U.S. helicopters had fired on a checkpoint manned by a neighbourhood police patrol.

They said women were among the victims.

The incident was one of the worst of its kind since last October, when as many as 11 civilians may have been killed in U.S. air strikes.