U.S. Soldiers Kill Iraqi Governor's 17-Year Old Son


The killing by U.S. troops of the son and cousin of the Governor of Saladin Province is likely to disturb the relative quiet this once violent region has enjoyed recently.

The provincial authorities have warned of "immediate measures" to avenge the killing and Governor Hamad al-Qaisi has said the "murder" of his son "will not go in vain."

The governor's son, 17-year-old Husam, and another close relative, Uday Khalaf, were asleep when a U.S. force stormed their residence in Tikrit, the provincial capital of Saladin.

U.S. troops have issued a statement alleging that the house was a hideout for an al-Qaeda fugitive and that the two victims were armed.

The authorities have dismissed U.S. claims, saying the victims were not armed and the killings were yet another "blunder" of trigger-happy GIs.

Abdullah Hussain, a senior provincial official said U.S. troops contacted the provincial council and have admitted the killing.

But he said the authorities were not happy with their explanation of the event.

"The authorities will soon take unspecified measures" against the presence of U.S. troops in the province, he said.

U.S. troops are keeping the bodies of the victims at their base in Saladin and have arrested another person in the same house on suspicion of links with al-Qaeda.

But the authorities said the seized man, identified as Khalaf Issa, was innocent and U.S. troops were holding him to justify their raid on the house and the killing of the young men.

Hussain described the raid, in which three people were also injured, as "barbaric and inhuman."

The governor has demanded an "immediate investigation". The incident has grabbed media attention because of the killing of his son.

Iraqi government officials, refusing to be named, say hundreds of such incidents happen across the country and go unreported.

U.S. troops do not keep counts of Iraqis they kill, whether civilians or gunmen.

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