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Sources: U.S. probes 15 Iraqi civilian deaths

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Operation Iraqi Freedom

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. military has opened a criminal investigation into the deaths last year of 15 Iraqi civilians in the western city of Haditha, several military sources told CNN.

During the November 19, 2005, incident, a Marine was killed when his unit was attacked with a roadside bomb and came under small-arms fire. The bomb also was blamed for the civilian deaths.

In an initial report released November 20, the Marines reported that "15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb."

But the military's judge advocate general received a tip about the incident and launched an investigation, which led to the criminal inquiry into whether there was undisciplined or indiscriminate shooting by the Marines.

The Marine killed by the roadside bomb was Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this story.

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