The incident was said to be reminiscent of scenes caused by the Israeli occupation of Palestine as the child was killed underneath the tank's tracks.

The tragedy occurred during clashes between US troops and Iraqi civilians in Abu Ghraib, on the outskirts of Baghdad on Friday.

Locals said skirmishes broke out twice in the town on three days, and by Sunday night military bulldozers had demolished stalls set up near the roadway.

Reports indicated that up to 1000 civilians were protesting the occupying forces’ imprisonment of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison, when fighting erupted near the marketplace and police station on Friday.

Up to 14 Iraqi civilians were killed and five wounded. One Iraqi policeman was also reported killed. There were more casualties the following day.

It is not clear how the fighting on Friday, which lasted more than seven hours, began. However, it is understood armoured tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, mechanised and airborne infantry joined in the battle. This, after a coalition decision was made to turn the crowd back. 

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Iraqis walk in front of US soldiers 
in Abu Ghraib during clashes

The crowd began burning tyres and waved religious banners, including one reading: “Ramadan makes you closer to God”.

The conflict escalated after people in the crowd fired mortars at the police station.

However, it is unlikely the American media will report the death of the child since the US military only releases figures of US casualties and rarely keeps records of Iraqi occupation deaths

A coalition press office spokeswoman could not confirm the incident except to say that two US soldiers were wounded in a mortar attack at the Abu Ghraib police station.

“We do not provide information on Iraqi casualties”, the spokeswoman told Aljazeera.net.

However the American-based New Trend Magazine quoted a report by the Washington-based NPR about how the child had been killed by the US tank.

"First reports indicated that these were clashes between civilians and US troops somewhat like the Intifada in Palestine. During the demonstrations a US tank crushed a six-year-old Iraqi child," reported NTM.

CNN reported that 14 Iraqi civilians were killed when US troops opened fire on demonstrators. However the following day, on 1 November, the US media widely reported that the 14 were killed while trying to attack US troops, added NTM.

Centcom officer, Sergeant Major Louis Madson, said it was “another terrible tragedy”, but could not confirm whether the child crushed by a tank was amongst the 14 casualties.