TIKRIT (AFP) - Eight family members, including three women, were killed in a US airstrike near executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Friday, sparking anti-America demonstrations. The US military confirmed aerial strike against a house, but said the target was an Al-Qaeda operative and not the women inside. It placed the death toll at seven, one fewer than the number given by local authorities. Large crowds protested against the US raid after the main weekly Muslim prayers in the city, capital of Salaheddin province. "America is the enemy of Allah," protesters chanted. Abdul Kareem, a close relative of the victims whose home is in the same neighbourhood, said he saw US troops surround the house in the early hours. "Then helicopters targeted it," he said. A doctor at Tikrit General Hospital, Imad al-Juburi, said the bodies of eight people were brought in and the victims appeared to have died of injuries consistent with an airstrike. Several Iraqi police and army officers in Tikrit gave the same death toll. The US military acknowledged that three women were among the dead but added that following the pre-dawn raid troops rescued an Iraqi child from the rubble and evacuated him to a nearby base for medical treatment. US troops surrounded the house in the village of Al-Dawr, where Saddam was captured by US forces in December 2003, and ordered its occupants to come out but they did not respond, the American military claimed in a statement. It alleged an armed man emerged after a one-hour standoff and the troops killed him and bombed the house. "An armed man appeared in the doorway and coalition forces, perceiving hostile intent based on the man's actions, engaged him," the statement said. "Later he was determined to be the suspected terrorist." The US statement said their main target was a "suspected Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terrorist alleged to lead improvised explosive device facilitation and brag about his victims." "Sadly, this incident again shows that the AQI terrorists repeatedly risk the lives of innocent women and children to further their evil work," US military spokesman Colonel Jerry O'Hara said. He said surveillance teams observed two other people running away from the building and taking shelter in a neighbouring mosque. One was later arrested with the help of Iraqi forces. In other operations on Friday, US troops captured five wanted men and detained three additional suspects, the US military said in a separate statement. It said the arrests were aimed at disrupting Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Four of the men were taken into custody in the capital Baghdad, the statement said. The US has regularly ordered investigations after incidents involving the deaths of Iraqi civilians, but the results of these are rarely published. According to independent estimates, about 95,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion of March 2003. In January, the Iraqi government and the World Health Organisation estimated that between 104,000 and 223,000 civilians and military personnel had been killed in the country since the invasion.