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Iraqi Commander Contradicts Shi'ite Account of Deadly Raid


An Iraqi commander involved in a daring rescue by Iraqi and U.S. troops says accounts of the incident by some Shi'ite officials are not true.

At least 16 people were killed in the operation Sunday.

The Iraqi special forces commander, whose identity was not disclosed, spoke Wednesday to Western reporters from Time magazine and CBS News.

He disputed accusations from some Shi'ite officials that U.S. forces raided a Baghdad mosque and killed innocent civilians. He insisted his troops had to fight their way into the target building and kill gunmen guarding a hostage.

He said his men did not find prayer mats or books, which are usually found in a mosque. He said they found weapons and instruments of torture.

The hostage freed in the operation confirms the commander's version.