US: Iraqi soldier killed 2 American service members

Iraqi official says the suspect has links to militant groups.

Iraq soldiers 224.88 (photo credit: AP [Illustrative photo])
Iraq soldiers 224.88
(photo credit: AP [Illustrative photo])
The US military said Saturday that an Iraqi soldier apparently shot dead two American service members for "reasons that are as yet unknown" while they were on a joint patrol north of the capital. An Iraqi official said the suspect has links to militant groups. Three other US soldiers and one civilian interpreter were wounded in the December 26 attack, the military said in a statement. The shooting occurred as American and Iraqi soldiers were conducting operations to establish a combat outpost in Ninevah province in northern Iraq. According to Brig. Mutaa Habib Jassim al-Khazrachi, commander of the Iraqi army's 2nd Division, an initial investigation has indicated that the Iraqi soldier has links to militant groups in the area. Al-Khazrachi refused to elaborate but said the incident occurred in Mosul's eastern Hermal area as American and Iraqi troops were in a firefight with gunmen. The Iraqi soldier who allegedly opened fire fled the scene but was identified by other Iraqi army personnel and was then captured, the military said. Two Iraqi soldiers were being held in connection with the incident. US and Iraqi investigations into the incident were underway, the military said.