Wednesday, February 18, 2004. 7:21am (AEDT)
Three Iraqi civilians, including a 10-year-old girl,
have been killed by a stray US mortar round which hit the backyard
of a home near the main American military base in Baghdad.
US troops fire mortar rounds across the Tigris River
from their base several times a day.
US commanders describe the firings as part of a harassment-and-interdiction
operation, which is designed to prevent insurgents from setting up
firing positions in meadows across the river to attack the base.
A spokesman says it is not known how or why the latest
mortar round went astray.
The other two victims have been identified as young
adults, one male and one female.