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US Troops Kill As Many As 7 Civilians In Iraq


US Troops Kill as Many as 7 Civilians in Shootings in Iraq

Iraqi officials say American troops in Baghdad have killed as many as seven Iraqi civilians, including a child, in two separate shootings.

In one incident, Iraqi security officials say as many as four people were killed Tuesday when U.S. troops opened fire on a minibus. Officials say the troops shot at the vehicle as it advanced toward a roadblock in Baghdad's northern Shaab neighborhood.

A U.S. military spokesman says the street is restricted to passenger cars, and the driver failed to heed a warning shot.

In other news, a delegation of Sunni religious leaders met with Iraq's most respected Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf today. A Sunni cleric says Sistani called for unity and an end to sectarian violence in the country.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. military said troops opened fire on a car speeding toward a checkpoint in Baiji Monday, killing two men and a child. A spokesman said the military regrets that civilians are hurt or killed while coalition forces work to rid Iraq of terrorist networks.

In other violence, Iraqi police say a suicide bomber killed six people and wounded several others after detonating explosives at the entrance to a police headquarters in the central city of Baquba Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said Warsaw could withdraw all its troops from Iraq by mid-2008. Klich made the remark in an interview published in the Polish daily newspaper, Rzeczpospolita.

Poland has about 900 soldiers in southern Iraq.

ENDS

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