3 US citizens dead in Iraq: coalition
* Arab councillor shot dead in Kirkuk
MOSUL: Three US civilians were believed killed and two others wounded in a drive-by shooting in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul late Monday, said coalition military sources, after earlier saying the dead were Iraqis.
“It’s starting to look like the three killed are not Iraqis. Right now we believe them to be Americans,” said coalition military sources. “They were possibly working for a non-governmental organisation,” the sources added.
The coalition had previously reported a drive-by shooting in Mosul that left three Iraqis dead and two US civilians wounded. The sources had also said they thought the five were working for a contractor. The wounded Americans were treated in a local hospital and then moved to a secure location, the sources said earlier. Police in Mosul said the five people had been driving when they came under Kalashnikov fire from a neighbouring vehicle. The attackers then sped off.
“Two women and a man were killed, and a man and woman were wounded,” said police officer Abdel Amir Mohammed Jassem.
Doctor Sultan Jargis at Salam hospital said the wounded American woman was hit by four bullets in the chin, leg and chest. Two bullets struck the wounded man in the stomach, he said.
An Arab member of Kirkuk’s council was shot dead on Monday in the ethnically tense Iraqi city, police said after a weekend that saw seven US soldiers killed and a score wounded. Assailants opened automatic weapon fire at Akar Nizal at 9:20am when they found his vehicle stopped at a traffic light and killed him on the spot, near the local government building, Police Chief Turhan Yussef said.
Police were searching for the attackers, Yussef said. Witnesses said a red car pulled up alongside a vehicle carrying Agar al-Tawil, a Shia Arab council member, and his bodyguard and opened fire. The vehicle skidded to a halt and the assailants then got out and fired more shots at the victims. “Two men got out of the red car and went to Tawil’s car and just started shooting,” witness Haider Mohammed said. Major General Hazim al-Obeidi of the Kirkuk police confirmed the assassination and said an investigation was under way. —Agencies