U.S. troops kill gunman in fighting in Diyala: Iraqi police

19:11, December 02, 2009      

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U.S. troops killed a gunman and wounded three others in clashes early on Wednesday in a predominantly Kurdish town in the volatile Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

The predawn incident took place in the town of Sadiyah, some 130 km northeast of Baghdad, when U.S. soldiers who were carrying out a security operation clashed with gunmen guarding their own homes in the eastern part of the town, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The clashes apparently erupted mistakenly when several gunmen opened fire on U.S. soldiers in the dark, the source said.

"The gunmen thought the soldiers approaching their homes were insurgents," he said.

The U.S. soldiers traded fire with the gunmen before they called in a helicopter gunship which bombed a house and totally destroyed it, the source added.

The incident also resulted in the wounding of a U.S. soldier, he said, without telling whether there were casualties among civilians.

The source did not give further details about the incident as the U.S. troops sealed off the scene.

The U.S. military did not confirm the incident yet.

Diyala province stretches from the eastern edges of the capital to the Iranian border. It has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations there.

Source: Xinhua
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