US troops kill five Iraqi civilians-military

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BAGHDAD, Nov 27 (Reuters) US troops killed five Iraqi civilians, including a child, in two separate shootings in the past two days, the U.S. military said today.

Yesterday, U.S. troops targeting al Qaeda fighters in Baiji, 180 km north of Baghdad, opened fire on a vehicle which approached a roadblock at high speed. Two men inside ignored warnings to stop, a military statement said.

A child was found wounded inside the vehicle but later died despite receiving medical treatment. A U.S. military spokesman later said the two men in the vehicle were civilians and were not armed.

''Multi-National Force-Iraq deeply regrets when any Iraqi civilian is injured or killed, and our condolences go out to their families,'' the spokesman said.

In Baghdad, US soldiers opened fire on a minibus early today after its driver ignored instructions to stop which included a warning shot.

A military spokesman said the bus was travelling in a street that is off-limits to vehicles other than passenger cars.

''Initial reporting indicates that two passengers were killed and four wounded,'' the spokesman said.

One police source said the bus was carrying Finance Ministry employees through the Shaab district of northern Baghdad. He said two people were killed and witnesses reported seeing at least one body lying in the street.

Another police source said four people were killed in the Shaab shooting, including three women.

Iraqis have often been angered by what they describe as the heavy-handed use of force by US troops since the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, especially in air strikes and by troops travelling in convoys of ''Humvee'' vehicles.

REUTERS PJ ND1528

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