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Shooting in Mosul Kills 3

Shooting in Mosul Kills 3

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MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - A shooting in this northern city killed three people and wounded at least 11 Wednesday, a day after seven Iraqis died when American troops opened fire, U.S. officials said, to keep an angry crowd from storming a government complex.

Few details of Wednesday's incident were immediately available, but some Iraqis blamed U.S. troops. The shooting appeared to have taken place at an open-air market about 300 to 400 yards from the governor-general's office.

At the U.S. Central Command in Qatar, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said Tuesday's bloodshed occurred as American special operations soldiers and Marines were trying to secure a government building for use as a meeting center.

He said that when a group of Marines arrived at the walled compound people threw rocks, hit them with fists and elbows and spat at them. He said an Iraqi ambulance with loudspeakers arrived later and began urging on the crowd, which turned over a car and set it on fire.

Brooks said the U.S. troops guarding the wall fired warning shots after seeing some people in the crowd shooting weapons into the air. The Americans then were shot at and began firing at some people in the crowd, including some who tried to climb over the wall, he said.

"Some Iraqis were killed as a result of that," Brooks said. "We think the number is somewhere on the order of seven, and there may have been some wounded as well."

Earlier reports quoted witnesses as saying as many as 10 Iraqis may have died and dozens were wounded. Those accounts said the crowd became unruly during a speech by the city's new governor-general outside his office.

Several of those wounded in Wednesday's incident accused American troops of firing at them from rooftops. But a Marine sergeant near the scene denied that and said U.S. troops on a rooftop had returned gunfire toward gunmen on another roof.

Mohammed Rabih Sheet, an administrator at Jumhuriya Hospital, said three people were killed and 11 wounded, including two children.

Six of the wounded who spoke to a reporter said Americans had shot them.

Amal Mahmoud, a 40-year-old taxi driver, also said he saw U.S. troops shoot at people.

"There were people inside the central bank, which is next door to the governor's office. They had been looting money for several days. Police were standing outside the bank and fired shots in the air to disperse the looters. The Americans started firing at the people in front of the governor's office," rather than at the looters, he said.

(Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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