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Iraqi PM: U.S. rushed Ishaqi probe
June 3, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military rushed to judgment in its exoneration of U.S. troops involved in the March 15 raid that killed civilians in Ishaqi, said an aide to Iraq's prime minister on Saturday.

There are too many "questions and doubts" surrounding the raid 60 miles north of Baghdad, said Adnan al-Kadhimi.

"The Iraqi government should continue its own investigation until the truth can be found," he said.

On Friday, the Army said its investigation had concluded U.S. troops who conducted the Ishaqi raid had acted properly and will not face charges for the deaths of as many as a dozen Iraqis.

The death toll and the manner of the civilian deaths remains disputed. Iraqi officials say 11 people, including five children and four women, were killed, when U.S. troops acted against what they believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq safe house. One of the children was 6 months old, the Iraqi officials said. (Watch why soldiers were found to be following procedures -- 1:14)

Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, conceded that as many as "nine collateral deaths" may have occurred in Ishaqi, but that investigators could not determine the exact number "due to the collapsed walls and heavy debris."

Nonetheless, a government committee made up of several Iraqi ministries is investigating, and if it finds wrongdoing, it wants an apology, as well as compensation, al-Kadhimi said.

This applies to other cases as well, like claims that Marines killed 24 civilians in Haditha.

The Iraqi government also is developing a working agreement between the government and the coalition forces to prevent other such incidents, Al-Kadhimi said.

In addition to the Ishaqi and Haditha cases, U.S. troops are alleged to have intentionally killed civilians, including women and children, in at least two other incidents.

Eight troops are being investigated in the death of an Iraqi civilian near Hamandiya in April. Both the Los Angeles Times and NBC News said troops may have planted an AK-47 and shovel near the body to make it appear the man was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb.

The military also is looking into reports that soldiers killed two women, one of whom was pregnant, in Samarra on Tuesday. Witnesses said the women were killed when their vehicle drove through a checkpoint.

On Saturday Caldwell reiterated the U.S. stance on troop misconduct and its position on the Ishaqi incident.

The United States mourned the loss of innocent life and will "thoroughly investigate" any alleged act of misconduct, Caldwell said, in addressing Arabic-speaking reporters. He said those who carry out such acts must be accountable for their actions and said that condolence payments must be made.

"It is the way we have operated since we arrived here, and we will continue to do so," said Caldwell.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report

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