The incident underscored how American forces remain engaged in offensive operations despite Obama's declaration that the fewer than 50,000 remaining U.S. troops would focus on advising and training the Iraqi military and police.
Iraqi police officials said that the raid, which
also wounded three people, began when the U.S.-Iraqi team set off
Witnesses said that soldiers fatally shot several members of two families and raided the neighboring home of
U.S. military officials refused to comment on the operation, and there was no information on whether Kassar or any of the other individuals killed had been the targets of the raid.
A senior police official in
U.S. and Iraqi forces seized four of the dead bodies, witnesses said.
"They entered and started yelling and cursing us and all the women," Ahmed said. "I begged them to let me find my 5-year-old brother, Ahmed, and they let me. I found him hiding behind the bed, trembling and afraid."
Family members said that Iraqi soldiers had handcuffed them and held them for several hours after the raid and that other relatives remained in military custody.
Also on Wednesday, nine off-duty Iraqi soldiers were
killed and five were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated outside the
northern city of
(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.