Iraq UN ambassador says US Marines killed cousin

01 Jul 2005 21:12:07 GMT

UNITED NATIONS, July 1 (Reuters) - Iraq's U.N. ambassador accused U.S. Marines on Friday of firing at and killing his cousin in cold blood during a house raid near the western town of Haditha on June 25.

Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, a supporter of the United States, said Mohammed al-Sumaidaie, the son of his first cousin, was shot by Marines during a raid at his father's house in the village of Al-Shaikh Hadid, near a U.S. military base at the Haditha Dam.

"All indications point to a killing of an unarmed innocent civilian -- a cold blooded murder," Sumaidaie said.

Sumaidaie, in a telephone conversation with Reuters and a lengthy written statement, called for an investigation of the killing, saying outrage over the incident could jeopardize public support for the U.S. led reconstruction of Iraq.

The U.S. military said in a statement from Iraq that the events described in the allegations "roughly correspond to an incident involving coalition forces on that day in that general location."

"We take these allegations seriously and will thoroughly investigate this incident to determine what happened," said Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Johnson.