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US troops kill ex-Iraqi army officer in northern Iraq
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U.S. troops stormed the house of a former Iraqi army officer in a village in northern Iraq, killing him and his wife and wounding his daughter, U.S. military and an Iraqi police source said Sunday.

A police source told Xinhua that a U.S. force conducted a pre- dawn raid Saturday on the house of Dhiya Hussein in the village of Kanusiyah, near the town of Hawijah, some 70 km south of Kirkuk.

During the operation, the troops opened fire on Hussein, who was a colonel in former Iraqi army, killing him and his wife and wounded his eight-year-old daughter, the source said.

The source also said that local security forces were not informed about the raid and that the reasons behind the killings are unclear yet.

A U.S. military statement said that the U.S. troops were conducting the operation in cooperation with Iraqi forces as required under an agreement signed late last year between the United States and Iraq.

The statement said that Hussein is a suspected leader of al- Qaida assassination cell.

It said that U.S. and Iraqi troops entered Hussein's bedroom and saw his wife reach under a mattress and they told her in Arabic to show her hands, "but she failed to comply" and they shot her dead.

Hussein, then, attacked the soldiers and they killed him, acting in "self-defense," the statement said, adding that the girl was wounded by a bullet that exited the mother's body and struck her in the leg.

"A subsequent search revealed that a high-powered pistol was concealed under the mattress," it said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2009)

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