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Posted by D from ( on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 10:47PM :

Gunmen fired anti-tank rockets at a US armored vehicle in the Iraqi town of Falluja, sending US troops into a shooting spree that killed two Iraqis.

There was no immediate comment from the US military on the incident.

Residents said they heard several explosions in the center of Falluja, 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of Baghdad, at around 11 pm on Wednesday night where a US armored personnel carrier was parked.

Residents said after the attack that US tanks randomly fired toward the city center, killing two passengers of a pickup truck traveling some 300 meters from the scene.

"They went crazy, they fired everywhere," Safi Jaber, an eyewitness, said.

US soldiers later stopped an ambulance trying to approach the truck and a tank rammed the vehicle, the residents said.

Residents identified one of the Iraqi victims as a 19-year-old man called Hady Jaber.

"His wedding was supposed to be today," Khalil Ibrahim, an engineer, said.

Many shops were damaged by tank fire and a auto spare parts shop was completely destroyed.

The overnight incident is expected to further inflame tension in the town in which at least 15 peaceful demonstrators were killed last month by US troops.

Shopowner Iyad Qubaisi, standing in front of his ruined spare parts shop, said: "Saddam never ruined our shops. Is this the liberation [US President George W. Bush] talks about?"

Troops withdrew from the industrial area where the incident had taken place, but continued to patrol other parts of the city.


-- D
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