Wed Jul 30, 2:15 PM ET
SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) - US soldiers killed three unarmed Iraqi civilians, including a woman, near the central city of Samarra, the American military said Wednesday.
The incident which is under official investigation occurred early Wednesday as US troops carried out what the military described as operations targeting Al-Qaeda in the central zone of the war-ravaged country.
It said that US soldiers moving towards a building had observed four "suspicious" individuals and had perceived "hostile" intent after being fired upon.
"The force engaged them, killing two men and a woman, and wounding another woman. A third man who was detained on site admitted to working with explosives," the US statement said.
But Nusayf Jassim, a resident on Samarra, 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad, told AFP that US soldiers had raided his home in search of insurgents and in the ensuing gunfire his mother and two brothers were killed.
"The US forces burst into our home at 2.00 am and opened fire in all directions, Jassim told AFP at his home on the edge of the city.
"They killed my 50-year-old-mother and two of my brothers, aged 21 and 26," he said.
US troops also wounded two of Jassim's sisters prior to detaining his 23-year-old brother, he said.
Jassim added that the raiding US soldiers had told him that "terrorists" were living at his home.
The US military said no weapons were found.