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US military admits Mosul hospital airstrike may have killed civilians

The Pentagon said a coalition airstrike struck Isis fighters 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 29 December 2016 23:11 GMT
The Pentagon said it was investigating the incident
The Pentagon said it was investigating the incident (Getty)

The US military has said coalition forces may have killed a number of civilians after striking a van in a hospital compound in Mosul while targeting Isis fighters.

In a statement, the Pentagon said that a coalition airstrike hit a vehicle believed to be carrying Isis fighters.

“The van was struck in what was later determined to be a hospital compound parking lot resulting in possible civilian casualties,” it said, citing the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

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It said it took all reports of civilian casualties seriously and would carry out a probe.

The strike comes more than two months after Iraqi operations to free Mosul began. Coalition air support has been a major asset that has enabled Iraqi advances on the ground.

The Associated Press said that on Thursday, Iraqi security forces began the second phase of their offensive against Isis fighters in the the city, pushing from three directions into eastern districts where the battle has been deadlocked for nearly a month.

Since the offensive to capture Mosul began 10 weeks ago, US-backed forces have retaken a quarter of the extremists’ last major stronghold in Iraq in the biggest ground operation there since the 2003 US invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

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