U.S. troops kill nine, Iraqi minister shot
Feb 04,2008 00:00 by UPI

BAGHDAD - Unidentified gunmen killed a senior Iraqi Foreign Ministry official Monday following reports of nine civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S. military.

A anonymous source with the Iraqi police told the Kuwaiti news agency Monday gunmen ambushed and killed Waleed Haitham, a diplomat with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, in western Baghdad.

The U.S. Army also said Monday that a weekend offensive targeting al-Qaida militants south of Baghdad resulted in nine civilian deaths.

Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Maura Gillen told CNN one of the fatalities was a child and two other children were among three people wounded in the Saturday mission in Iskandariya, 30 miles south of the capital.

The U.S. military also reported four members of the Sunni-led volunteer security force Concerned Local Citizens were found dead in a house in Diyala province.

The militant group, Islamic State of Iraq, issued a statement on the Internet calling for volunteers for suicide attacks against the army and Shiite Muslims in northern Iraq where Iraqi forces are mounting an assault against al-Qaida and other insurgent groups, CNN said.

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