US soldiers kill 2 Iraqi policemen
* Coalition tries to restore peace in Basra
* US soldier killed in Baquba attacks
* Six explosions rock US base in flashpoint Iraqi town
BAGHDAD: US soldiers shot dead two Iraqi policemen they mistook for attackers while guerrilla insurgents also killed another US soldier as British forces patrolled Basra Monday hoping to forestall a third day of riots over fuel shortages and no electricity.
US soldiers in Baghdad on Saturday shot dead an Iraqi policeman they mistook for an attacker, killed another as he tried to surrender to them and beat a third, a survivor of the incident said.
The three Iraqi officers were firing from their unmarked police car at a suspect vehicle they were chasing when the Americans opened fire on them in a western suburb of the capital, Sergeant Hamza Hilal Nahi, who said he was driving the car, told AFP.
Meanwhile, a fragile peace prevailed in Basra, where British troops looked to soothe Iraqis, addled by the searing temperatures and lack of progress on reconstruction. “It’s all calmed down. We’re delivering fuel to stations,” said Major Charlie Mayo, military spokesman in the British-administered city.
Troops were escorting two or three empty fuel trucks when Iraqis put obstacles on the road, set petrol afire and started to shoot small arms and launch rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) at the soldiers.
“The soldiers responded with smalls arm. They reported two Iraqi casualties, and we think those were the ones who died,” said Mayo. By Sunday night, British troops distributed fuel to gas stations for the population of 1.5 million fed up with gas shortages, electricity outages and the rampant smuggling of petrol under the coalition’s nose.
Meanwhile, a US soldier from the 4th Infantry Division was killed and two others wounded late Sunday in Baquba, 66 kilometres (41 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a US military spokesperson said.
The soldiers were hit in an improvised-explosive device attack at approximately 10:00 pm, the spokesperson said Monday.
A police officer in Baquba said the town’s police station was attacked late Sunday, leaving one US soldier wounded.
“A grenade was hurled at the police station at 10:30 pm (1830 GMT) and a US soldier was injured,” said Mohammed Jawad.
The US military had no immediate comment, and it was not clear whether the attacks were the same.
Violence also continued to shake the Iraqi capital. Two grenades exploded near the British embassy in Baghdad late Sunday, wounding an Iraqi, a military spokesperson said. The grenades were thrown shortly after 9:00 pm under trucks parked about 70 metres (230 feet) from the embassy, said Staff Sergeant Amy Abbott.
The FBI was investigating Monday last week’s Jordan embassy bombing which killed at least 14 and wounded more than 50. “We have been (conducting) a full crime scene examination, gathering anything to try to identify which explosive was used,” said Thomas Fuentes, a scene commander for the FBI team, with at least 10 members.
Meanwhile, six huge explosions rocked a US military base in Ramadi, 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, Monday night as mysterious assailants fired on the compound, an eyewitness told AFP.
Faras Mustafa, 34, said he saw smoke rising from the base after the blasts. There was no immediate comment from the US army, but earlier Monday, Colonel Guy Shields, the coalition’s top military spokesman, said the base in Ramadi had come under repeated mortar attack the previous few nights.
Governing Council: <.b>Head of Iraq’s 25-man interim Governing Council demanded Monday the US-led coalition forces treat Iraqis better, amid allegations of civilians being struck down by American troops during aggressive raids. “We have insisted on several occasions to the coalition forces on the necessity of treating Iraqis properly,” Ibrahim Jafari, the council’s first president in a nine-man rotation, told reporters. He warned rough conduct with Iraqis would only let “hatred grow against them.” —Agencies