Iraqi and American forces accidentally shot and killed a 12-year-old Iraqi girl in Mosul when a car apparently did not heed directions at a security checkpoint, officials said Tuesday. The girl was standing nearby and struck by a warning shot.
The shooting, called an "escalation of force" incident, was an illustration that accidental shootings — once much more common in Iraq — continue to be a problem.
According to military officials, a vehicle "accelerated on approach" toward the Hurriyah police station. U.S. and Iraqi forces reportedly waved and yelled for the driver to stop, but the vehicle continued its approach. Troops then fired two warning shots, one of which hit the girl, who was standing about 100 meters from the vehicle, officials said.
"Coalition forces attempted to render medical aid to the girl on the scene; however, she died of her wounds while being transported by Iraqi police to the Mosul General Hospital for treatment," a U.S. military statement said.
According to the statement, Col. Gary Volesky, commander of U.S. forces in Ninevah province, expressed his condolences to the girl’s family. The incident is under investigation, officials said.
Mosul remains one of the most violent cities in Iraq, and is often referred to as the last urban stronghold of militants in the country.