Army investigation clears US troops of misconduct

A military investigation into allegations that US troops intentionally killed Iraqi civilians in a March 15 raid in a village north of Baghdad has cleared the troops of misconduct, two defense officials said Friday. The investigation concluded that the US troops followed proper procedures in raising the level of force as they came under attack upon approaching a building where they believed an al-Qaida terrorist was hiding, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the results had not been publicly released. The investigation concluded that no troops committed acts that merit disciplinary action, they added. The nighttime raid was conducted in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad, by a ground assault force. After being fired upon from the targeted building, the soldiers pulled back and called in airstrikes by an Air Force AC-130 gunship, which attacked and collapsed the building, the defense officials said.