MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Insurgents attacked a car in
the northern Iraq city of Mosul on Friday, killing
three people who appeared to be foreigners and their
Iraqi driver and cutting off the head of one of the
victims, witnesses said.
The white, American-made sedan was attacked by
insurgents firing assault rifles as it drove through
western Mosul, witnesses said. After the attack it
was set on fire.
A photographer for Reuters saw four bodies lying on
the street close to the blazing vehicle, three of
them apparently foreigners.
Witnesses said one of the men appeared to be Turkish
and two others looked fair-skinned and European. One
of them had been beheaded. Two of the men looked to
be in their 20s and 30s and were dressed in jeans
and windbreaker tops.
A fourth person, apparently an Arab, could be seen
lying near the burning wreckage, his body partly
consumed by flames.
A U.S. military spokesman based in Mosul said
soldiers recovered three male bodies from western
Mosul around 6 p.m. (1500 GMT). He said they all
appeared to be Middle Eastern.
"All three died of gunshot wounds. None of the three
were decapitated," Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings
said. "A fourth body was not discovered."
It was not clear what became of the fourth corpse.
Witnesses said one of the foreigners was briefly
taken hostage by the insurgents. When he tried to
flee they decapitated him, leaving the head lying in
a pool of blood near his body on the street.
A crowd quickly gathered around the bodies and the
burning wreckage. The identities of the victims were
not clear, but the witnesses said they were carrying
small automatic weapons. The attackers seized the
weapons before setting the car alight.
Passports were also found on the victims, but they
were thrown into the burning vehicle, the witnesses
Mosul, in Iraq's far north near the Turkish border,
has experienced a surge in violence since the middle
of last month when groups of guerrillas overran a
dozen police stations, looted them of weapons and
then burned or blew them up.
There have been nearly daily attacks against U.S.
and Iraqi security forces in the city since then and
U.S. troops have stepped up operations to try to
Since Nov. 10, when the uprising began, more than
150 bodies have been found abandoned on the streets
of the city, many of them members of the Iraqi
National Guard and other security forces, but also
It is not clear who is behind the killings or what
the motive is, though some appear to be due to
ethnic tensions between Arabs and Kurds.
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