AT least three people were killed in a double US air strike on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in Iraq, witnesses said today.
“A plane fired a missile which struck cars at the northern entrance (to the city), and residents rushed to the scene to assist the wounded,” said a taxi driver who witnessed the raid last night.
“There was one killed and four to five wounded,” 29-year-old Amer Abas said.
Another witness, Ahmed Abdallay, said: “At least two other people were killed in the second attack. Two bodies were taken to a clinic.”
The US military said it had struck heavy construction equipment used to build fortified fighting positions on the outskirts of Fallujah and every effort had been made to spare civilian lives.
“Multi-National Force-Iraq accurately targeted this equipment while protecting the lives of innocent civilians,” it said.
Three people suspected of erecting a firing position at the western entrance of Fallujah were earlier killed by US tank fire.
The US military has launched repeated air raids against Fallujah since it withdrew from the town in April, effectively leaving it in the hands of Sunni insurgents.
The raids have intensified this month in what could be a prelude to an offensive to retake the rebel bastion before January elections.
Air strikes near Fallujah killed 44 people on Thursday.