Civilians killed as Mosul riots continue

By Scheherezade Faramarzi
Sunday 29 December 2013 05:42
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Civilians were killed for the second day running in Mosul as some of the worst violence since Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled continued yesterday.

Officials at the northern city's emergency hospital put the death toll at 14 on Tuesday and three yesterday. At least 18 are also reported to have been injured in the violence that broke out in the country's third-largest city.

US Central Command in Qatar confirmed that seven people had died but did not comment on accusations that US Marines shot at civilians yesterday. Few details were available about the shooting, but it appeared to have taken place at an open-air market a few hundred metres from the governor-general's office.

Meanwhile, about 40 US Marines in Baghdad raided the home of a microbiologist, Rihab Taha, nicknamed "Dr Germ" by weapons inspectors. She was said to have run Iraq's secret biological laboratory which had the task of turning anthrax into a weapon. Troops brought out boxes of documents and three men with their hands up.

Dr Taha is the wife of General Amer Mohammed Rashid, Iraq's former oil minister. Her whereabouts were not immediately known.

"We're really just in the early stages of that" search, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told reporters at Central Command.

He added that US troops were trying to secure a government building on Tuesday in Mosul when a crowd began punching, throwing rocks and spitting at them, and setting cars alight. He said some of the Americans fired back after shots were directed at them, and some members of the crowd began trying to climb over a wall into the government compound in a coordinated "assault".(AP)

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