Iraqi police say eight civilians have been killed by a U.S. helicopter strike north of Baghdad. The U.S. military says the strike was targeting Al Qaeda militants but acknowledges some civilian deaths including children.

Associated Press TV News footage shows the bodies of three children among the dead after the strike Wednesday night near Beiji.

The U.S. military says the helicopter was targeting an Al Qaeda weapons storage facility when it fired on a vehicle whose occupants "exhibited hostile intent." The military does not specify how many people were killed but says the dead included children in the vehicle.

Beiji police Col. Mudhher al-Qaisi says the eight dead were civilian farmers and their children who were fleeing U.S. raids in the area.