Iraqi security kills policeman mistaken for bomber

MOSUL, Iraq, July 29 (Reuters) - Several Iraqi security officers shot dead a policeman on Thursday while they lined up to receive salaries, mistaking him for a suicide bomber, a police source said.

Members of an Iraqi oil protection force were gathering in their base in the northern city of Mosul when suddenly a car approached and someone shouted "suicide bomber".

Several troops waiting in line and also guards in a nearby watch tower drew their weapons and opened fire, killing the off-duty policeman who was driving on a wrong lane, the source said.

Iraq is on high alert for insurgent attacks after a March 7 national election produced no clear winner and left the country adrift in political uncertainty.

Overall violence has fallen sharply in Iraq since the peak of sectarian warfare in 2006/07 but bombings and suicide attacks still occur regularly.

On Saturday, three suicide bombers killed at least four policemen and wounded nine police and army personnel in two separate attacks in Iraq's restive northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

The United States is withdrawing troops from Iraq and handing over responsibility to Iraqi forces with U.S. officials regularly expressing confidence in their skills. U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said on Tuesday Iraqi forces were "performing exceptionally well". (Reporting by Jamal al-Badrani; writing by Muhanad Mohammed; editing by Ulf Laessing)