The United States army is conducting an investigation into the shooting deaths of three Iraqis by American troops on Thursday in the village of Abu Lukah which is forty miles south of Baghdad. Shiites in the area had established the North of Hillah Awakening Council in an effort to cooperate with American forces to defeat extremists in the area. About 2:00 a.m. five members of the Council were guarding a checkpoint when shots rang out in the evening air. Apparently, American soldiers manning a watchtower in a nearby base fired on the group and killed three and wounded one. It is unclear why they shot these men who were cooperating with US forces.
Unfortunately, such incidents seriously damage efforts by US forces to gain the confidence of Iraqis. This is an example of Shiites seeking to fight terrorism who are killed by their allies, not their enemies.