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December 8, 2006 -- There are conflicting reports about a U.S. military assault north of Baghdad overnight.
The U.S. military says its forces killed 20 Al-Qaeda militants, including two women, in a ground and air operation near Ishaqi, a Sunni militant stronghold, after coming under heavy fire.
But Western news agencies quoted Iraqi police and local officials as saying as many as seven women and eight children from two extended families died in a U.S. air strike.
Speaking in Baghdad, one of the top U.S. military commanders in Iraq, Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, promised reporters that the incident will be investigated.
"I can promise you that in every one of these incidents that occurs that it will be fully investigated," he said. "I think you've seen that in the past, and this one will be fully investigated if, in fact, there is any merit to the charges that are being made, at least from what I've seen in the press."
In June, a U.S. military investigation cleared U.S. troops of misconduct in the deaths of up to 13 civilians in Ishaqi.
(compiled from agency reports)