Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
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IRAQ: A death in Mosul

February 2, 2009 | 10:11 am

As with most things in Iraq involving U.S. troops and Iraqi deaths, there were two versions to the story: the Iraqi one and the U.S. one. The ending, though, was the same: a dead child, killed in the aftermath of a bomb that targeted American forces and was planted by insurgents in the lethal northern city of Mosul.

Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, has become Iraq's deadliest battleground as Sunni Arabs vie for power with Kurds and as insurgents loyal to Al Qaeda in Iraq launch attacks on U.S. forces. On Monday, attackers struck as a U.S. convoy rumbled through Mosul's war-shattered streets. According to the U.S. military, one of the vehicles swerved to avoid the blast. It hit a civilian car carrying the child. U.S. Army Maj. Derrick Cheng said the child was killed. Mosul police confirmed the death and said the child's father also was killed.

According to Cheng, preliminary reports indicate that the U.S. convoy left the scene en route to its initial destination: another American convoy that had come under attack. A separate American team then arrived to handle the vehicle accident scene and itself came under grenade attack. No U.S. casualties were reported. The American report said six Iraqis were injured; Iraqi officials said nine Iraqis were killed and several injured by U.S. gunfire in the moments after the bomb blast. There was no way to reconcile the different accounts.

-- Times correspondents in Iraq