Air strike on house in Iraqi city of Falluja kills 14

 

A United States air strike targeting a purported fighting position used by foreign militants in Fallujah demolished a house and killed 14 people, hospital and local officials said today.

Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Mr Iyad Allawi gave the go-ahead for the attack, according to his office and the US military.

It was the sixth strike on the city since June 19th.  In previous strikes, the United States said it was targeting safehouses used by the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant blamed for masterminding car bombings and other attacks in Iraq.

Today's attack targeted foreign militants' "fighting positions and trench lines near the remains of a house," according to a statement by US Brigadier General Erv Lessel. About 25 fighters were there just before the attack, he said, citing Iraqi and coalition intelligence sources.

Local residents said the attack destroyed a house filled with civilians.

One witness said the house belonged to a "very poor family". Angry crowds gathered around the house, chanting "God is great."

Lt Saad Khalaf, of the Fallujah Brigade, a defence force that guards the city, said: "We heard the sound of jetfighters and then we heard four explosions in the house occupied by civilian residents."