A member of an Iraqi city council shot at U.S. forces Monday outside Baghdad, killing at least three soldiers, two Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.
But the U.S. military said one coalition soldier and an “enemy” were killed and five others were wounded. The military said it is investigating.
The Iraqi official fired an AK-47 at U.S. troops after they entered the City Council building in al-Madaen, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, according to one Interior Ministry official. The councilman killed at least three people and wounded four, a ministry official said.
U.S. forces returned fire, killing the councilman, according to two Interior Ministry officials.
The shooting happened after U.S. soldiers and local officials had attended a ceremony to open a park in al-Madaen, also known as Salman Pak, an Interior Ministry official said.
“The attacker came out of his car with an AK-47 rifle in his hand and started firing on the American soldiers until he was killed by the return fire,” said Hussein al-Dulaimi, 37, who owns an agricultural machine shop across the street, according to The Associated Press.
In other violence, a mortar attack killed at least 10 people Sunday evening in northern Iraq, according to a military operations command in Diyala province.
Three mortars hit an office and checkpoint of the U.S.-allied predominantly Sunni fighters, known as the Awakening Councils or Sons of Iraq.
The attack happened in al-Adhaim in Diyala, 31 miles (about 50 kilometers) north of Baquba, the province’s command said Monday.
The 10 slain were all members of Awakening Councils. Twenty-four members of the group also were wounded.
Awakening Councils, also called “Concerned Local Citizen” groups, are comprised of mostly Sunni fighters who have turned on al Qaeda in Iraq.
The mortar attack comes on the verge of a U.S. report that will say violence in Iraq declined in the early part of 2008, according to officials familiar with the report. The Pentagon’s upcoming report to Congress, which could be released as early as Monday, will cover events in Iraq from mid-February to mid-May.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Monday that Iraqi forces will continue “victorious security operations” against al Qaeda in Iraq and other suspected Sunni targets, including “gangs of the former regime,” in Diyala and the northern city of Mosul, according to a statement from al-Maliki’s office.
He spoke during a visit to the southern city of Amara, the capital of Maysan province, where Iraqi security forces are staging a major offensive against Shiite militants.
He met with tribal leaders from Maysan in Amara and vowed to “strike with an iron fist anyone who disobeys the law.”
Iraqi security forces started the push against militants last week in Maysan, a region that borders Iran. There has been speculation that weaponry destined for Shiite militias has come through Maysan from Iran.
Originally found @ CNN.com