Saturday, June 10, 2006

"That account was disputed in a village north of Baghdad, where Iraqis said American commandos killed five civilians in a Friday morning raid. In Ghalibiya, near the scene of Mr. Zarqawi's death, a local Iraqi interviewed by telephone said American commandos dressed in black had raided the hamlet around 4 a.m. The Iraqi, a farmer named Mustafa Muhammad, said a group of local Iraqis, standing guard to protect their predominantly Sunni village from Shiite death squads, fired their guns into the air. "They thought the Americans were a death squad, dressed in black," Mr. Muhammad said. The American commandos threw a hand grenade in response, he said, killing five villagers. "The people were saying that the Americans were looking for Zarqawi loyalists," he said. Mr. Muhammad said a group of American soldiers wearing regular Army uniforms came to Ghalibiya later in the day to apologize. They promised to provide compensation for the dead Iraqis, he said."