Iraqi police say insurgents have killed three prostitutes and wounded two others in a brothel attack in the northern city of Mosul.

The U.S. military says in a statement that Iraqi police believe the attack was carried out by Sunni insurgents belonging to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

A police official, citing testimony from one of the wounded women, says the insurgents knocked on the apartment's door Monday and shouted at the women that they had been warned before not to carry out prostitution. The militants then opened fire.

The official quoted in Tuesday's statement spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The police say authorities had warned the women to leave the area after complaints from neighbors.