Saliyah, Qatar; 16 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. spokesman said today that U.S. soldiers killed as many as seven Iraqis while returning fire during a violent demonstration at a city government building in Mosul yesterday. Brigadier General Vincent Brooks said during a briefing at U.S. Central Command in Qatar that some of the demonstrators fired at U.S. soldiers, and the soldiers returned fire at some of the demonstrators.
"Fire was directed at the [U.S.] Marines and Special Operations forces in this complex [in Mosul]. It was aimed fire, and aimed fire was then returned against some of the demonstrators, some of the agitated persons who were now climbing over the wall of the compound. Fire was, indeed, delivered from coalition forces. It was lethal fire and some Iraqis were killed as a result of that," Brooks said.
News agencies quoted witnesses as saying U.S. soldiers shot and killed at least 10 people.
There was reports of more deadly gunfire in Mosul today, near the city government building as a bank was being looted. Witnesses and doctors said at least three people were killed by gunshots which the witnesses blamed on U.S. soldiers. The initial reports, however, gave conflicting accounts of what happened.