10 killed as US troops open fire in Mosul
US troops had opened fire on a crowd after it turned against an American-installed local governor.india Updated: Apr 16, 2003 12:24 IST
At least 10 people were shot dead and scores wounded on Tuesday in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul, a hospital doctor said, with witnesses claiming US troops had opened fire on a crowd after it turned against an American-installed local governor.
Those charges were denied by a US military spokesman, who said troops had come under fire from at least two gunmen and fired back, without aiming at the crowd.
Dr Ayad al-Ramadhani said at the city hospital "there are perhaps 100 wounded and 10 to 12 dead" following the shooting near the local government offices in a central square.
Three witnesses questioned by AFP and casualties who spoke to hospital staff said US troops had fired on the crowd, which was becoming increasingly hostile towards governor Mashaan al-Juburi as he was making a pro-US speech.
At US Central Command's war headquarters in Qatar, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told a press briefing he had seen no military re ports of the incident and could not confirm it.
But the military spokesman in Mosul later said, "there were protesters outside, 100 to 150. There was fire. We returned fire."
He said the fire came from a roof opposite the building, about 75 metres away.
"We didn't fire at the crowd, but at the top of the building," the spokesman added. "There were at least two gunmen. I don't know if they were killed.