U.S. soldiers mistakenly shot and killed three Iraqi police officers and injured two others, thinking they were bandits, an Iraqi police officer said Saturday.
The policemen were manning a checkpoint on a road in the Suleiman Beg area, some 90 kilometers south of Kirkuk city, in northeast Iraq, when American troops opened fire on them around midnight Friday, said Lt. Salam Zangana of the Kirkuk police force. He said two other policemen were wounded.
According to the AP, in the same region Friday night, Iraqi police shot and wounded two people they said were trying to place roadside bombs on a route used by the U.S. army around al-Hawija, a town some 25 kilometers west of Kirkuk.
Col. Muslim Hassan of the Kirkuk police force told The AP that the wounded men managed to escape, and U.S. soldiers later defused the two bombs.
Meanwhile, gunmen attacked two former officials of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, killing one, critically wounding another and killing her 5-year-old son, officials said Saturday.
The two separate attacks in Najaf appeared to be part of a series of revenge killings against local members of Saddam's regime, which brutally repressed Shiites. On Wednesday, an angry crowd lynched another Baath official accused in a 1991 crackdown against Shiites.
On Friday, gunmen killed Ali Qassem al-Tamimi, the district mayor of Najaf's al-Furat neighborhood, as he was shopping with a friend in downtown Najaf, according to Lt. Raed Jawad Abdel Saada.
Early Saturday, two gunmen riding by on a bicycle opened fire on former provincial party official Damiyah Abbas and her son as they were leaving their home. The 5-year-old boy was killed instantly, and Abbas was hospitalized in critical condition, according to another police officer, Lt. Raed Abbas. (Albawaba.com)
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