US forces kill 3 Iraqi police

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US forces have killed three Iraqi policemen in a friendly fire incident during operations in Ramadi, a US military statement has confirmed.

The raid was targeting suspected al-Qaida members in Iraq in the north-east district of Ramadi city.

The US statement said troops "coordinated their operation and no Iraqi police were known to be in the area".

Small arms fire had been received by troops in the insurgent stronghold, the US military said, prompting a return of fire.

Three men were killed in the exchange and the US military added that the incident was under investigation. Seven insurgents were also arrested in the raid.

Ramadi is located 170 miles west of Baghdad, which was hit by a further series of bomb attacks yesterday.

Iraqi police said at least 43 people had died, including 18 people when two car bombs exploded in a market located in the Shia district of the capital.

On the same day the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the deaths of two British personnel killed when two Puma helicopters crashed north of Baghdad.

Defence secretary Des Browne described the crash as a "tragic incident" which had left hi "deeply saddened".

US forces sealed off the crash site and the MoD noted it intended to recover both of the helicopters.

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