BAGHDAD (CBS/AP) -- U.S. soldiers shot and killed a young Iraqi girl after firing a warning shot at a woman who "appeared to be signaling to someone" along a stretch of road where several roadside bombs had recently been found, a military official said early Thursday.
Later Thursday, police said a parked car bomb had exploded in a commercial district of central Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding another 41.
The bombing took place off a bridge in Tahrir Square, a district of clothing shops just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and much of the Iraqi government, an Iraqi police official said on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to release the information. No more information was immediately available.
The shooting, which took place Wednesday afternoon, occurred in the volatile Diyala province north of Baghdad. An exact location was not given in a military statement.
The girl appeared to be "around 10 years old," said Maj. Brad Leighton, a military spokesman.
There has been an increase in the use of women as suicide bombers in Iraq.
The latest such attack occurred Monday when a female suicide bomber killed a U.S.-backed Sunni leader who formed a group to fight against al Qaeda insurgents in Diyala after his guards ushered her into the home without searching her.
Leighton, however, said preliminary reports indicated that soldiers didn't believe the woman posed a threat of being a suicide bomber, but rather "they were afraid she was signaling to someone that the convoy was going by."
In its statement, the military said that "coalition forces fired a warning shot into a berm near a suspicious woman who appeared to be signaling to someone while the soldiers were in the area. A young girl was found behind the berm suffering from a gunshot wound."
Roadside bombs have been the biggest killer of American troops in Iraq.
On Tuesday, an American soldier died when a roadside bomb hit his patrol near Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad. Three soldiers died in a roadside bombing in Diyala on Monday.
"There is no indication that the soldiers thought she was a suicide bomber. They were more fearful of IEDs along that road," Leighton said of the woman, using the military term for roadside bombs.
Soldiers gave the girl medical attention and called for an evacuation. The girl died on the way to a medical facility, the statement said.
"Coalition forces take the loss of any innocent civilian life seriously and the incident will be thoroughly investigated," military spokesman Maj. Dan Meyers said in the statement.
In other developments:
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