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Probe Clears US Troops in New Iraq Civilian Death Allegation in Town of Ishaqi


A U.S. military probe into allegations that American soldiers intentionally killed Iraqi civilians in Ishaqi has cleared the troops of any misconduct.

Defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, Friday said U.S. Army ground troops came under attack as they were attempting to arrest an al-Qaida suspect in March. They said the soldiers followed all normal operating procedures during the incident in Ishaqi.

Thursday, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a video of several dead adults and children that Iraqi police said were among 11 civilians killed by U.S. troops during the raid.

The announcement comes as the U.S. military continues investigation of two other incidents involving the alleged murder of Iraqi civilians by American troops.

In the highest-profile incident, the Pentagon is looking into allegations that U.S. Marines may have killed as many as 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians last year in Haditha.

Military investigators are also looking into the shooting death of an unarmed man in Hamandiya, west of Baghdad, in April.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday President Bush was aware of the allegations. He said it was safe to say Mr. Bush was "troubled" by similar incidents anywhere in Iraq.

Senior officials in Iraq's new government say they want the U.S. to turn over its files on the Haditha incident so that Iraq can conduct a separate inquiry.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has expressed anger at the killing of Iraqi civilians. White House spokesman Snow said Mr. Maliki will be fully informed of the results of the military investigation.

Also Friday a military court sentenced a U.S. Army dog handler to 90 days hard labor for using his dog to threaten an Iraqi detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Sergeant Santos Cardona is the 11th U.S. soldier to be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 and early 2004.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.