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‘US raid on Daesh truck caused Mosul tragedy’

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A senior Iraqi military official has said that a US-led coalition airstrike on a Daesh truck carrying explosives resulted in the civilian deaths in last week’s Mosul incident.

On Thursday, Iraq’s Kurdish-language Rudaw television network reported that 237 people had been killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on a Daesh-held neighborhood in western Mosul.

The report said 137 people died when a bomb hit a single building in al-Jadida district of western Mosul. Another 100 were killed nearby.

“When the (vehicle) was struck, it exploded, destroying one or two of the houses next to where families were hiding,” said the head of the Iraqi Counterterrorism Unit in Mosul, Colonel Muntathar Al-Shamari, on Sunday.

Chairman of the Nineveh Provincial Council, Bashar al Kiki, confirmed that at least 200 were killed in the attack.

A member of the Iraqi Special Forces stands by husk of a damaged car as troops advance towards the Old City in western Mosul on March 24, 2017.

 

On Saturday, the US-led coalition confirmed it had launched an airstrike on the day “at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties.”

Earlier in the day, the spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said that the Iraqi Defense Ministry “has opened an investigation into this issue.

The US military said Friday that it was investigating the incident which would rank among the highest civilian death tolls in an American air mission since the United States began its new military campaign in Iraq in 2003.

Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters launched an offensive to retake Mosul in October 2016. The forces took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched the battle in the west on February 19.

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