[JURIST] Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile], said Saturday that the Iraqi government would open its own investigation into the deaths of Iraq civilians in Ishaqi [JURIST report] after an official statement [text; recorded video] by a US military spokesman Saturday cleared US troops from all wrongdoing in the deaths. Kazimi told Reuters, "We have from more than one source that the Ishaqi killings were carried out under questionable circumstances. More than one child was killed. This report was not fair for the Iraqi people and the children who were killed." Kazimi also said the Iraqi government would demand an apology from the US and would seek compensation for the victims' families in several cases of alleged civilian murders by US troops, including the deaths of 24 unarmed Iraqi citizens [JURIST news archive] in Haditha last year. Iraqi Human Rights Minister Wijdan Michael said a commission would be sent to Ishaqi to investigate the deaths in the next few days.
US officials are also currently investigating the Haditha killings and have indicated that US Marines could face murder charges [JURIST report] after the probe is completed. Prime Minister Maliki called the Haditha deaths a "terrible crime" earlier this week and called on the US to hand over its files on the investigation. In Baghdad Friday, Maliki met with US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad [official profile] and US Army Gen. George Casey [official profile], chief US commander in Iraq, who plan to release the information to the Iraqis, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow. Reuters has more.