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Pentagon: At least 105 civilians killed in US air raid on Mosul in March

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo taken on March 24, 2017 shows rescue teams searching through the debris of a building destroyed in a March 17 US airstrike on Mosul, Iraq. (Photo by AP)

A Pentagon investigation says at least 105 Iraqi civilians lost their lives in a US airstrike on the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul back in March.

The US bombarded a concrete building in Mosul’s western al-Jadida district, where Iraqi forces were fighting against terrorists, on March 17. The deadly aerial assault caused the building to collapse.

The Pentagon acknowledged in a statement that the US had carried out the fatal attack and launched a probe into whether it was US munitions, explosives belonging to Takfiri Daesh militants, or both that caused the building to fall down.

On Thursday, the Pentagon investigation found that a 500-pound US GBU-38 bomb triggered secondary explosions from devices clandestinely planted by Daesh in the building, causing the structure to collapse.

An Iraqi man inspects the damage in Mosul's al-Jadida district on March 26, 2017, following a March 17 US airstrike. (Photo by AFP)

US Air Force Brigadier General Matthew C. Isler, the lead investigator, said 101 civilians were killed in the building, and four others died in a nearby structure.

"The secondary explosion triggered a rapid failure of the structure, which killed the two ISIS (Daesh) snipers, 101 civilians sheltered in the bottom floors of the structure and four civilians in the neighboring structure to the west," Isler said

He also noted that 36 civilians were still unaccounted for, adding that the US and Iraqi forces did not know there were civilians in the building or that it had been rigged with explosives.

This is while local officials and eyewitnesses say as many as 240 people may have been killed in the US air raid.

The death toll is one of the highest in the military camping led by the US against what are said to be Daesh targets. 

The US and some of its allies have been carrying out airstrikes in Iraq since June 2014 allegedly targeting Daesh terrorists. The raids, which have done little to dislodge the terror outfit, have on numerous occasions claimed many civilian lives and inflicted damage on the two countries’ infrastructure. 

Late last month, the US said at least 352 civilians had been killed in its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, but rights groups provide a higher toll.

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