The US military said it dropped a precision bomb on a house in Samarra after 12 men who fought US troops escaped into the structure. City police and hospital officials said seven civilians, including five children, were killed.
Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, spokesman for US forces north of Baghdad, said a gunfight broke out when the 12 men ran into a house where US troops were conducting surveillance. The 12 opened fire on the Americans, then escaped in a truck and were tracked by an unmanned drone above the city. They were seen darting into the house that was subsequently bombed.
Officials in the Samarra Joint Coordination Center and the hospital there said Mohammed Abdul Wahab, his wife and five of their children - ages 4- to 8-years-old - were killed. The officials, who refused to be named fearing retribution, said five other people were wounded, including three children, ages 4 to 10.
"We cannot confirm those numbers, but can confirm the 12 or so attackers went into this house following an attack on our soldiers, who were trying to bring about some level of peace to the people there," Donnelly said in an e-mail response to a question about the attack.