Friday, February 09, 2007

8 Kurdish Iraqi troops reported killed in U.S. air attack

A gunner aboard a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter looks down toward the city of Mosul

BAGHDAD, Feb 9 (Reuters) - U.S. military helicopters killed eight Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers and wounded six others in northern Iraq on Friday in what appeared to be a "friendly fire" incident, Kurdish officials said.

The U.S. military said it killed five armed men in an air strike in the northern city of Mosul after U.S. troops hunting suspected al Qaeda militants there came under fire from a bunker near the building they were targeting.

The men, who had ignored warnings in Arabic and Kurdish to put down their weapons, turned out to be Kurdish policemen, the military said in a statement, adding that U.S. forces expressed their "deepest sympathies" to the families of the victims.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who is also a close U.S. ally, has asked the Americans for more information on the incident, which comes as Kurdish soldiers prepare to deploy in Baghdad as part of a U.S.-backed plan to secure the capital.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet