December 18, 2008 / 12:04 PM / 12 years ago

Iraq ministry says employees killed in US raid

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government has accused U.S. forces of killing at least three Trade Ministry employees in a pre-dawn raid on ministry property in Baghdad, officials said on Thursday.

The cabinet’s National Media Centre and the Trade Ministry issued statements alleging that U.S. forces raided a facility belonging to the Iraqi Grain Board, part of the Trade Ministry, early on Wednesday morning.

They said the troops killed several security guards, burnt the guards’ offices and searched files and computers.

The U.S. military was not able to confirm any U.S. involvement in the incident.

The Trade Ministry said four security guards were killed in the incident in the Utaifiya neighbourhood of Baghdad, while the National Media Centre said three were killed.

“The Trade Minister condemns this ignominious act and asks American forces to present an explanation and an apology to the Trade Ministry,” the ministry said.

It called for the Iraqi government to launch a probe and to “present the wrongdoers for trial by Iraqi courts.” It also asked the U.S. government to make payments to the families of those killed in the incident.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Missy Ryan; Editing by Michael Christie

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