February 6, 2008 in Nation/World

U.S. again reports killing Iraqi civilians

Sudarsan Raghavan Washington Post

Odierno tapped for Pentagon job

» WASHINGTON – Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who is finishing a tour as the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, has been nominated to take over as the Army’s vice chief of staff in charge of running the service’s day-to-day operations.

» President Bush has nominated Odierno for a fourth star, and Congress must approve the promotion before he moves to the Pentagon.

» The move would put two recent Iraq veterans at the top of Army leadership, rewarding long tours in the war zone with responsibility for running an Army strained by the lengthy fight. Odierno, who led the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and returned to command ground forces over the past year, would serve under Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, who was the top U.S. commander in Iraq for nearly three years until he took the top Army job in April 2007.

Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. troops killed at least three Iraqi civilians and injured a child Tuesday during a raid north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. The attack came a day after the U.S. military said it had killed nine civilians in an airstrike in Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad.

In a statement, the U.S. military said two men and a woman were killed during an assault on “a suspected terrorist cell.” Insurgents, the statement said, fired on U.S. soldiers, who returned fire. The child was injured in the leg and taken to a hospital, the military said.

Police and witnesses provided a different account. They said the soldiers entered a house in the village of Dour, 21 miles south of Tikrit, and opened fire on a family in their beds. Ali Hamad, 51, his wife, Naema Ali, 46, and their 19-year-old son, Dhia Ali, were killed. Two daughters were injured, including an 11-year-old who died at the hospital, witnesses said. Dhia Ali, witnesses said, was a member of a U.S.-backed Sunni paramilitary movement called Sahwa, or “Awakening,” which is fighting the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq.

“When the American forces came, they opened fire immediately on my father’s, my mother’s and brother’s heads and necks,” said Nawal, 17, Dhia’s sister, who was not injured. Afterward, she said, the soldiers “took my wounded sisters immediately to their base to treat them.”

Iraqi police arrived three hours later and took the bodies away, said Capt. Mohamed al-Douri, a police spokesman. The U.S. military said the incident was under investigation.

In Taji, north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber at a checkpoint killed eight members of another Awakening group, police said.

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