Civilians killed in Fallujah

US occupation forces shot dead two Iraqi civilians in the tense town of Falluja Sunday as they continued their sweep to flush out resistance fighters.

    Perpetual friction between
    US troops and civilians

    Aljazeera's correspondent in Baghdad reported that one man had died after an 

    exchange of fire with US forces after they broke into a house in the town.

    One US soldier was also killed in the firefight.

     

    The other fatality was a gunshop owner mistaken for an assailant and shot as

    he repaired his Kalashnikov outside his store in the town's marketplace,

    witnesses said.

     

    Today's deaths follow the killing of another Iraqi yesterday after US forces

    came under fire near a mosque on the town's outskirts. Another attacker

    escaped, said US Central Command.

     

    Fallujah has been a hotbed of resistance since US forces occupied Iraq in

    mid-April after ousting Saddam Hussein.

     

    Resentment

     

    Mounting US casualties forced Washington on Thursday to send in 1000 troops

    in a bid to snuff out resistance in the central Iraq town which is home to

    the Al-Dulaimi tribe, loyal to the former Iraqi president.

     

    But the house-to-house raids have provoked further resentment among

    townspeople with accusations of heavy-handedness and disrespect for Islamic

    moral codes, especially in relation to the troops' dealings with women.

     

    On Friday US soldiers escaped injury when a rocket-propelled grenade was

    fired at an armoured vehicle. A day earlier, one US soldier was killed and

    five wounded in an attack in the town.


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