The U.S. military said on Thursday it was investigating the killing of an Iraqi policeman in what appeared to be a knife fight with a U.S. Marine at a joint security station in the western Anbar province.
Major Jeff Pool, a spokesman for the U.S. military in western Iraq, said the investigation was still at an early stage but the death "appears to have resulted from an argument escalating into a physical altercation" on December 17.
He said in an e-mail statement that the policeman died of his wounds, while the Marine was taken to a military hospital. Both men received lacerations in the fight. The statement did not identify either man.
The incident comes less than a week after a U.S. Marine reservist was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge after a Marine jury convicted him of negligent homicide for killing an Iraqi soldier a year ago in the city of Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad.
Pool said U.S. military commanders met with tribal leaders in Anbar province to discuss the latest killing. He said both sides "regret this incident and are working to assure incidents such as this do not occur in the future." ( Reuters )