Child is killed in US checkpoint shooting

UNITED States soldiers killed an Iraqi child and wounded another when they fired on a car that failed to stop at a checkpoint in Baghdad.

The army confirmed the shooting as at least ten people died in the city of Fallujah in a US bomb attack.

A US military spokesman said: "Soldiers fired on the vehicle after the driver failed to obey verbal and visual instructions to stop, switched off the vehicle lights, and forced guards out of the way as he attempted to bypass the checkpoint."

The statement said the mother and the wounded child were taken to hospital following the shooting on Monday, while the father, who was driving, was questioned by police.

Many Iraqis accuse US soldiers of being too hasty to open fire and of killing many innocent civilians.

Baghdad residents say they often fail to notice poorly-lit and unannounced checkpoints while driving at night.

Thirty miles away in Fallujah, the US bombing raid turned a building into a 30ft-deep pit of sand and rubble.

The attack was the fifth air strike in the past two weeks in the area where the US says Jordanian militant Abu Musab Zarqawi’s network has safehouses.

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued an unprecedented statement saying his government provided intelligence to the US military for the strike.

The interim government in Iraq has been trying to work out how to deal with the insurgents, and the air strike came just hours after it postponed an announcement of new security laws to deal with them.

Rescue workers picked up body parts after the air strike, witnesses said.

Men gathered at the pit where the house had been and pulled out clothes, including a young child’s shirt, from the rubble.

The military said it had dropped four 500lb bombs and two 1000lb bombs.

It added that the attack used guided weapons and underscored the resolve of coalition and Iraqi forces "to destroy jointly terrorist networks within Iraq", the US military said.

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