Five school children were killed Tuesday when a car in the convoy of a top judicial official accidentally ran them over while on their way to school in a central Baghdad neighborhood, police and hospital officials said.

They said the children, ages 6 to 10, were run over in the panic that ensued when the official's guards exchanged fire with police at a checkpoint when the convoy failed to stop.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, the officials said the incident took place at 8 a.m. at al-Salhiyah district near the Foreign Ministry compound.

One child died instantly, while the other four succumbed to their wounds later in hospital.

Bosho Ibrahim, Iraq's deputy justice minister, identified the official in the convoy as Midhat al-Mahmoud, president of the Supreme Judicial council, the country's top legal oversight agency.