Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
BASRA, Iraq, April 3 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. air strike hit a house in Iraq's second largest city of Basra, killing three people and wounding six others, all were from one family, witnesses said on Thursday.
"A U.S. aircraft pounded a house in the al-Qiblah neighborhood in western the city of Basra last night," residents of the neighborhood told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The attack killed three civilians, including a woman, and wounded six others, all from one family, they said.
A U.S. military statement confirmed that its aircraft carried out a strike targeted "enemy forces."
"In support of the Iraqi security forces, coalition forces directed aerial fire against enemy forces April 2 near al-Qiblah, killing one enemy and destroying a house," the statement said.
Early on Wednesday morning, Iraqi Army forces cordoned off the Qiblah neighborhood and clashes with militants after the troops searched houses in an attempt to detain suspected gunmen, witnesses said.
Last week, fierce clashes between Shiite militias and U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces raged Iraq's southern oil hub city of Basra, as Iraqi security forces launched a massive offensive, dubbed "Operation Cavalry Assault," aimed at restoring order in the city where instability was spreading.