By Karl Vick; The Washington Post: Jan.9, 2005
Residents gather around a house reduced to rubble in the village
of Aitha, Iraq, 30 miles south of Mosul, yesterday. U.S. officials said
an F-16 fighter plane dropped a 500-pound bomb on a house that "was not
the intended target."
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The United States said one of its warplanes
mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb on a house in a village near the
northern city of Mosul yesterday, killing several Iraqis.
The airstrike by an F-16 fighter plane early yesterday on the
village of Aitha, 30 miles south of Mosul, was part of "a cordon and
search operation to capture an antiIraqi force cell leader," the
military said in a statement.
The satellite guided bomb struck a house that "was not the
intended target. ... The intended target was another location nearby,"
The statement said that five people were killed and that the
military "deeply regretted the loss of possibly innocent lives."
However, the owner of the house, Ali Yousef, told news services that
the bomb killed 14 People including seven children, all members of the
An Associated Press photographer said 14 people were killed and
six others, including residents of nearby homes, were injured.
The conflicting death tolls could not be independently
reconciled, and the military said an investigation was underway.
Yousef said American troops immediately surrounded the area,
blocking access for four hours. The brick house was reduced to rubble,
according to the AP photographer at the scene.
U.S. forces have been building up their operations and forces
this week in and around Mosul, which has been particularly violent in
Mosul is in Nineveh, one of the four Provinces that U.S.
officials have said are still not secure enough for voting in the Jan.
30 national assembly election.
Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.