The Iraqi soldier who shot dead two US soldiers opened fire because their unit refused to stop beating a pregnant woman, a hardline Sunni group said in its website Saturday night.
The US military said Saturday that an Iraqi soldier killed two US soldiers and wounded three others during a combined operation in Nineveh province on Dec. 26. Iraqi General Mutaa al-Khazraji has said the soldier proved to be an "insurgent infiltrator."
However, in a statement released Saturday night, the Muslim Scholars Association identified the Iraqi soldier as Qaisar Saadi al-Jubory and said the Iraqi soldier had shot the US soldiers after he witnessed them beating a pregnant woman.
"His blood rose and he asked the occupying (US) soldiers to stop beating the woman. Their answer through the translator was: 'We will do what we want.' So he opened fire on them."
Iraqi and American officials have denied the accusation.
"There is no indication that that is true and the matter remains under investigation," said US military spokesman Colonel James Hutton.
The US military command in Baghdad said the Iraqi soldier ran away after the shooting but was later captured.
Two Iraqi soldiers are being held in connection with the incident. General Khazraji said the men are in Iraqi custody.
(Xinhua News Agency via agencies January 7, 2008)