A U.S. patrol opened fire Monday on a group of people in Baghdad's gun market, killing three, after the soldiers apparently mistook the gunfire of customers testing weapons for an attack, a witness and an Iraqi police officer said.
Four people also were wounded, hospital and police officials said. The dead included an 11-year-old boy.
In Iraq, it is legal for a family to own one gun for self-defense. That weapon is usually an AK-47 (search) assault rifle. The gun market, however, is illegal and has been raided repeatedly by U.S. soldiers, who have tried to close it down.
The incident began when a group of Iraqis were testing a gun in the market by firing it in theaid.
At least two U.S. soldiers then opened fire on the market, killing three Iraqis, said Rykan and a witness, Hashem Naim Mohammed. Mohammed's 11-year-old nephew, Akil Hussein Naim, was among the dead.
The shooting took place at the Mreydi market (search), a 2-mile-long market known as a place where one can buy guns and thieves hawk stolen goods.