The U.S. military says its troops killed six "terrorists" during a raid on a possible safe house in Baghdad for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, after first coming under heavy fire themselves.
The building belongs to a leading Sunni Arab politician, Saleh al-Mutlaq, who heads the National Dialogue Front. He called the raid a provocation.
In an interview with Reuters, al-Mutlaq is quoted as saying a family of four was killed in an adjacent building during the raid, including two children, as well as two of his security guards.
A U.S. military spokesman told Reuters that he was unaware of civilians being injured or killed in the raid.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops began the New Year with the news that at least 3,000 U.S. service personnel have now died in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003.
(compiled from agency reports)