U.S. forces say kill four al Qaeda militants

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military said it killed four al Qaeda militants in a raid in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, but Iraqi police said the three brothers and their father shot in the operation were not insurgents.

The U.S. military said in a statement it had killed four “terrorists”, one of whom it said was armed with a pistol, and arrested another 10 suspects.

“No family was killed during the operation,” it said.

An Iraqi police source, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, told Reuters: “As far as we are concerned, they were not militants.”

At a funeral procession for those killed, about 400 angry demonstrators marched through the streets shouting “Down, down with America,” an eyewitness said.

They walked alongside mourners carrying four coffins. “The Americans are thugs,” shouted a protestor in his mid-40s who declined to be named.

Iraqi and U.S. forces have been hunting al Qaeda fighters in Mosul since the government increased operations against the Sunni Islamist militant group last month.

U.S. forces say scores of militants have been killed and Iraqi security forces say more than 1,000 suspected militants have been detained in Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province.

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