Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 18:58 pm (KSA) 15:58 pm (GMT)

Iraqi police shot US soldiers, translator killed

Iraqi soldiers shot dead U.S. counterparts in joint patrols
Iraqi soldiers shot dead U.S. counterparts in joint patrols

Four U.S. soldiers were wounded and their interpreter was killed in Iraq's northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, in an attack that Iraqi security sources said was carried out by Iraqi police.

"Several soldiers were injured in the attack. However none were killed," U.S. Col. Bill Buckner told AFP, amid conflicting reports on the shootings.

Earlier, an Iraqi interior ministry official said two policemen shot dead four U.S. soldiers and their local interpreter at a police station in central Mosul. The assailants were known policemen from local tribes, he added.

 The injured personnel were taken to the combat support hospital in Mosul... This is an initial report 
the U.S. military

"Four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed by two Iraqi policemen who opened fire at them in the Dawasa district of (central) Mosul and then fled," the unnamed official told AFP.

The bullet-riddled body of the interpreter was taken to the local mortuary. But the U.S. military confirmed only the death of one interpreter, stressing that its report was pending investigation.

The U.S. military denied the claim and said three soldiers and an interpreter were wounded.

"Three U.S. soldiers were injured in the attack at an Iraqi police station in Nineveh province along with an interpreter. A second interpreter was killed during the attack," the U.S. military said in a statement.

"The injured personnel were taken to the combat support hospital in Mosul. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause and nature of the attack. This is an initial report," the statement said.

Mosul, one of the country's most restive cities, has been the scene of two previous such incidents involving U.S. soldiers in just over a year.

Joint patrol

  U.S. soldier slapped an Iraqi soldier during the patrol 
Iraqi interior ministry official

On Nov.12, an Iraqi soldier shot dead two U.S. soldiers in the city before being shot dead himself, but U.S. and Iraqi officials differed sharply on what actually happened.

Iraqi officials said the soldier opened fire after an altercation with the Americans during a joint patrol in the city, but the U.S. military insisted it was an unprovoked shooting inside an Iraqi army compound.

Mohammed al-Askari, Iraq's defense ministry spokesman, said at the time that the shooting took place during a joint patrol to inspect security procedures in Mosul, which the U.S. army says is al-Qaeda's last urban bastion in Iraq.

An official in the Iraqi interior ministry said "a U.S. soldier slapped an Iraqi soldier during the patrol." A similar incident took place in Mosul in January 2007 when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on American troops during the erection of a combat outpost in the city, killing two U.S. soldiers, according to Iraqi officials.

U.S. and Iraqi forces operate together throughout the country, and the United States has long said that the training of Iraqi troops and police is a central part of its military strategy.

On Monday, three U.S. soldiers and their interpreter were killed during operations in the restive province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

At least 4,250 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003, according to an AFP tally based on the independent website www.icasualties.org.

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