Skip to main content
CNN International EditionWorld
The Web     
Powered by
Iraq Banner

U.S. soldiers fire on van carrying women and children

Story Tools

•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
•  Weapons: 3D Models

DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- U.S. soldiers fired on a van carrying 13 women and children when it failed to stop at a military checkpoint in southern Iraq, killing seven people and wounding two others, U.S. Central Command said Monday in a written statement.

Four passengers were unhurt, the statement said. An investigation is under way.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET) when soldiers from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division -- manning a checkpoint on Route 9 near Najaf --motioned for an approaching van to stop, but were ignored by the driver, the statement said.

The soldiers fired warning shots into the air which also were ignored and then shot at the vehicle's engine, "but it continued moving toward the checkpoint," the statement said.

Soldiers were unable to see into the van, a spokesman for Central Command said.

"As a last resort, the soldiers fired into the passenger compartment of the vehicle," the statement said. The spokesman said the soldiers responded in accordance with rules of engagement, based on initial reports.

Considering recent surprise attacks against U.S. servicemen by attackers dressed as civilians, the soldiers exercised considerable caution, the spokesman said.

An Iraqi suicide bomber exploded a taxi at a U.S. checkpoint in Najaf Saturday, killing four U.S. soldiers serving with the 3rd Infantry Division. Commander of the division's 1st Brigade, Col. Will Grimsely, said an Iraqi drove to the checkpoint, beckoned soldiers closer, and detonated a bomb, killing himself in addition to his victims.

Iraq's Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan confirmed that attack was a suicide bombing and promised there would be more to come.

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure

On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.