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US military opens new probe into police allegations of Iraqi civilian killings

[JURIST] US military investigators are looking into allegations that made by Iraqi police that US troops killed 11 civilians in their home in Ishaqi last week, a military spokesman said Tuesday. US forces said they approached the house to arrest an al Qaeda suspect and that they only opened fire after being fired at first. They also claim that only four people in total were killed, including one guerrilla, but Iraqi police officers said that five children, four women, and two men were shot in their home which was then blown up. The probe was initiated because of the discrepancy in accounts, according to a senior military spokesman.

The new allegations follow a separate investigation into allegations [JURIST report] that US Marines [official website] committed war crimes by killing 15 Iraqi civilians in a November 2005 Iraq firefight after a roadside bomb detonated. The US Navy [official website] is heading the probe into whether the soldiers positively identified the enemy and whether there was hostile intent before firing, as they are instructed to do by the international law of armed conflict [ICRC materials]. Earlier this week, TIME magazine published additional eyewitness accounts by civilians [TIME report] who were present during the November attack. Reuters has more.

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