Gun attack car in Iraqi city of Mosul, killing four

Friday, December 17th 2004, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) _ Gunmen attacked a car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, killing four male passengers, and witnesses said three of the victims were foreigners.

The attack happened at the Yarmouk traffic intersection in Iraq's third-largest city, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.

The bodies of the four victims, including one whose head was almost severed, were seen lying on the road alongside their burning Chevrolet Caprice. At least one body was set alight.

Police Capt. Zeid Waseem said police received reports that three foreigners and their Iraqi driver had been killed. The nationalities were not immediately known.

Eyewitnesses said one of the slain men appeared aged in his 20s and another in his 40s and that they were dressed in jeans. U.S. soldiers later cordoned off the scene in a bid to extinguish the fire and retrieve the bodies.

Another person was killed Thursday when seven mortar rounds struck near local government offices in Mosul, police Capt. Mohammed Abbas said.

The killings were the latest violence in the city, which was initially peaceful after the U.S.-led invasion but become a worrisome trouble spot since U.S. and Iraqi troops invaded the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, in November.

Meanwhile, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Hastings said security forces on Thursday found the bodies of six unidentified Iraqi civilians in western Mosul who had been shot dead.

Residents found another two Iraqis wearing civilian clothes who had been shot in the head in Hamdaniyah, about 20 miles east of Mosul, police said.

Since Nov. 10, about 160 bodies, including many affiliated with the Iraqi National Guard and police, have been found.

Soon after the U.S. assault on Fallujah began, insurgents launched an uprising in Mosul, overpowering police, looting or burning police stations _ and prompting an offensive by U.S.-Iraqi forces to put them down. Since then, police say insurgents have been targeting security forces and police there in a bid to strengthen their grip.