According to Aljazeera's correspondent, the Iraqis were killed in a confrontration with the US forces, who thought they were behind the killing of the British engineers early on Sunday. Two other Iraqis managed to flee from the incident.

"These were British civilians working at the Mosul East power station," said an Iraqi technician at the plant who asked not to be named. 

"They were on their way to the power station in two cars when they came under fire from attackers with AK-47s. One
vehicle was hit," he said. 

The bodies were lying in the street beside their burnt out vehicle.

   

Drive-by shooting

 

Also on Sunday, three US soldiers were seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, the US occupation military said.

  

At least four US soldiers were
injured on Sunday

Fighters opened fire from a car on a "US patrol, seriously injuring three American soldiers and setting their Humvee vehicle on fire", a US soldier at the scene said. 
  

 

The incident occurred around 12:15 pm (0915 GMT) in Mosul's industrial zone, he said.

 

In Baquba town, north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded on Sunday wounding five Iraqi civilians, including two children aged 10 and eight, a police officer said.

 

In Baghdad, one US soldier was slightly wounded in a bomb blast against a convoy in west Baghdad, the occupation military said.

Assassination attempt

Meanwhile, Iraq's interim public works minister Nasreen Barwari, a Kurd, escaped an assassination bid on Sunday near Mosul in which three of her bodyguards were killed, a police officer told AFP.

"Three of her (Barwari's) bodyguards were killed when unknown assailants opened fire with assault rifles on her convoy"

Raghid Yunus Abd Allah,
Iraqi police major

"Nasreen Barwari escaped an assassination attempt in Al-Karama, east of Mosul, today," Major Raghid Yunus Abd Allah said.


"Three of her bodyguards were killed when unknown assailants opened fire with assault rifles on her convoy," he added.

Barwari was last week seen seated behind top US civil administrator Paul Bremer when he announced that her ministry would be among the first four to gain independence from the US-led occupation on 1 April.


The young woman is among five Kurdish ministers in the interim government that is also made up of 13 Shiite Arabs, five Sunni Arabs, one Turkomen and one Christian.