Missiles fired at home of alleged insurgent in Iraqi town: witnesses
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) Dec 26, 2003
US soldiers sealed off part of a town near here, ordered residents out and then launched a missile strike against the home of an alleged anti-coalition rebel, witnesses said Friday.

A US military spokesman in Baghdad had no information on the incident, which witnesses said occurred in Khaldiyah, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the Iraqi capital.

"The army used loudhailers to ask people to leave Modik district in the centre of town, saying they had found a house used by guerrillas. The soldiers then surrounded the district with about 30 vehicles," Ahmed Jassem Hussein, 30, a local resident, told AFP.

"A few moments later an American aircraft fired two missiles, totally destroying the residence," said another witness, Wael Fares Aluan, 30.

Residents said the home belonged to Saad Ali Abed, 35, a businessman detained for about a week by US forces.

After the operation, inhabitants of the town took out their anger on journalists whom they accused of exaggerating anti-American attacks in the area. The news reports have provoked US retaliation, they said.

Several reporters' cars, including one belonging to an AFP correspondent, were damaged.

Khaldiyah is located west of Fallujah in an area that has seen frequent attacks against US forces who toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein last April.