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Questions surround deaths of Iraqi governor's kin

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. military says its forces killed a wanted al Qaeda in Iraq financier, another man
  • A local police official and relative of the dead men said they were "executed"
  • He says the 16-year-old and his cousin were on their way to morning prayers
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. forces killed two relatives of a local Iraqi governor in northern Iraq on Sunday. The dead were identified by the U.S. military as members of al Qaeda in Iraq.

But a local police official said the two males -- the governor's 16-year old son and the teen's cousin -- were "executed" as they headed to morning prayers in Baiji, located north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province.

That police official, Lt. Col. Saad al-Qaisi, is the brother of Salaheddin's governor, Hamad al-Qaisi.

The U.S. military disputed Saad al-Qaisi's account, saying its forces captured a wanted al Qaeda in Iraq financier during a pre-dawn raid in Baiji. The military said the wanted man was wounded in the raid.

The military said troops encountered two armed men during the raid, perceived "hostile intent" and shot and killed them in "self-defense."

Another suspected terrorist was detained in the raid, the military said.

"It was subsequently determined that the two armed men killed in the event were related to the governor of Salaheddin province," the military said.

Saad Al-Qaisi said his nephew, Hussam Hamad al-Qaisi, and Badri Khalaf Issa walked out of a house next door to the building that was being raided by the U.S. military at around 3:30 a.m. He said the young men "were taken and executed" by the military.

The police official said the military handed the two bodies to Baiji police Sunday afternoon, but provided no explanation of how they were killed.

He denied the military's claim that the two young men were members of al Qaeda in Iraq, saying it would be highly unlikely any son of a provincial governor would be working for the Sunni militant group.

Other developments:

• A parked car bomb detonated in Baghdad Sunday evening, killing a civilian and wounding four others, an Interior Ministry official said.

• A videotaped statement claiming one of five British hostages captured in Iraq last year has committed suicide is an "abhorrent film" that will only increase the anguish suffered by their families, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this story.

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