The Iraqi military says it has pulled dozens of dead bodies from the rubble of a home in Mosul after allegations emerged that around 200 civilians had been killed in airstrikes in the city over several days.
The bodies recovered are among the first details to emerge since the defense departments from both Iraq and the United States launched formal investigations Saturday into airstrikes between March 17 and 23 in the city’s west.
A man surrounded by rubble following what civil soceity groups say was a US-led airstrike in western Mosul.
The US-led coalition — in a months-long operation to drive ISIS militants from the key city — admitted Saturday to carrying out airstrikes on March 17 “at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties.”
Civil defense groups, who first reported the civilian deaths on social media, say the March 17 strike was one of the deadliest. Local officials have since then also claimed that around 200 civilians have been killed.
The investigations are aimed at clearing up the confusion swirling over the number of casualties and who was behind them.
Iraq denies airstrikes
The Iraqi military said in a statement Sunday that a team of its investigators had pulled 61 bodies from a home that media reports claimed was hit by airstrikes. It also rescued 25 women and children alive.
It is unclear how many of the 61 bodies belonged to civilians and how many were ISIS fighters.
While the home had been reduced to rubble, there was no indication of it being hit from the air, it said, adding that it appeared ISIS had blown up the home. The team found a vehicle bomb and detonator in the debris.
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