June 23, 2010 / 2:46 PM / 9 years ago

Iraqis die in crash with U.S. army vehicle

* Accident occurred in volatile Nineveh

* No U.S. soldiers hurt



MOSUL, Iraq, June 23 (Reuters) - At least two members of an Iraqi family were killed and others injured in a collision with a heavily armoured U.S. military vehicle in northern Iraq, Iraqi police and the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

The U.S. military said the accident occurred when a civilian vehicle tried to overtake another at high speed as a U.S. military convoy was heading the other way 50 km (30 miles) west of Mosul, a volatile northern city that remains a stronghold of Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda.

Mosul is viewed by the U.S military as its last urban battlefield in Iraq as it prepares to end combat operations in August and withdraw completely next year.

It said two girls, aged 15 and 9, were found dead after the crash. None of the U.S. soldiers in the U.S. MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armoured vehicle, were hurt, the military said in a statement.

Iraqi police gave a slightly different account, saying a man, his wife and their 9-year-old girl died in the accident in the village of Zummar.

Three other members of the family were injured, police said.

Nineveh province, where Mosul is the regional capital, is on the frontlines of longrunning disputes between minority Kurds and Iraq’s majority Arabs over land, wealth and power.

Sunni Islamist groups have exploited ethnosectarian tensions there to continue to wage an insurgency while overall violence in the rest of Iraq has fallen sharply. (Reporting by Jamal al-Badrani; Writing by Michael Christie, Editing by Samia Nakhoul)



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