FALLUJAH, Iraq – U.S. aircraft bombed a suspected rebel safehouse Thursday in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah (search), killing two people, the U.S. military and witnesses said.
The overnight strike in the northern part of the city targeted a "meeting site" used by suspected allies of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), the U.S. military said in a statement. Al-Zarqawi and his terror group, Al Qaeda in Iraq (search), are believed to be operating from Fallujah.
Fallujah Hospital officials confirmed two people had died and a third was wounded.
Residents said the two were brothers and a third sibling was wounded.
The victim's family denied the men were insurgents and relatives buried the dead men hours after the strike.
"My brothers were no fighters ... I was preparing to marry them off after the Fallujah crisis ends, now I am burying them with my own hands instead," said family member Mahmoud Nasser.
The U.S. military is stepping up attacks in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, in an effort to boost nationwide security ahead of Iraq's planned January elections.