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Bomber Strikes During U.S. Raid In Iraq, 11 Killed

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Eleven Iraqis were killed during a U.S. raid on a building in northern Iraq in which a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest among civilians inside, the U.S. military said.

A U.S. military spokesman said it was not clear how many of the victims died as a result of the bomb blast and how many as a result of shooting.

Three women and three children were among those killed during the raid, which targeted a wanted man in Mosul, some 390 kilometers north of Baghdad.

A U.S. statement said that U.S. forces exchanged fire with armed men as they entered the building in pursuit of the wanted man, and the bomber detonated his vest shortly after.

"At this point, we are not sure if each died specifically from gunshot wounds, effects from the blast, or a combination of both," U.S. Lieutenant Commander David Russell said in an e-mail.

Another U.S. spokesman had earlier said he believed all the Iraqi deaths were caused by the suicide bomber.

Russell could not confirm whether any U.S. soldiers had been killed or injured in the raid.

The U.S. soldiers later found weapons and explosives in the building, the military said.

"This is just another tragic example of how Al-Qaeda in Iraq hides behind innocent Iraqis," Rear Admiral Patrick Driscoll, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said in a statement.