Around 230 people were killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq, on Thursday, reported the Kurdish online newspaper. Most of the victims are believed to be civilians. A Rudaw correspondent also added that 137 of them were killed inside the same house alone.
Mosul Hevidar Ahmed, Rudaw Correspondent Some of the dead were taking shelter inside the homes.
Another report, by The Telegraph, also confirms at least 200 deaths in the “US-led coalition raid”. It says that 230 bodies, mostly of women and children, were pulled from three houses.
Along with US, the Iraqi military jets were, reportedly, also part of the strike.
The Islamic State had reportedly taken over these buildings to not only use as sniper positions, but also to hold civilians as captives. They would later be used as human shields by the militants if the need arose.
The report further says that the civilians tried asking for help from the Iraqi army, but to no avail.
Iraqi forces launched a campaign to retake West Mosul a month ago, after capturing the eastern side of the city in January.
Aid agencies say the situation is desperate for up to 6,00,000 people, who remain trapped with shortages of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.
“Reports of Civilian Casualties Fabricated by ISIS”
A contradictory report by Iraqi News, the online news agency, however, suggests that the number of casualties are fabricated by the ISIS. The Iraqi military media claimed that the numbers are false.
War Media Cell, Iraqi Defence Ministry, Statement The terrorist Daesh (Islamic State) gangs practice the most heinous kinds of treatments to our people…They film and photograph innocent civilian victims whom they kill, presenting them as victims of strikes by the heroic Iraqi forces to mislead the public.
The military statement also added that it is dedicated to the protection of civilians with proper rules in place.
(With inputs from Reuters.)