Unconfirmed Number Of Civilians Killed In Missile Attack In Western Mosul
An unconfirmed number of civilians, including several children, were killed in a missile attack that hit what may have been a school where civilians had taken refuge in the city of Mosul.
The missile attack occurred in the Islamic State (ISIS) held zone of Mosul known as July 17, where 81 people were reportedly killed. The number includes 34 men, 29 women and 18 children, Anadolu Agency reported, citing an Iraqi army commander who did not wish for his name to be disclosed.
It is still unknown whether Iraqi forces or ISIS militants launched the missile, but the Islamic State affiliated Amaq News Agency posted a video online on Thursday (May 5) purportedly showing the aftermath of a strike.
An unidentified man is seen in the video describing the site of the explosion as a school. “We don’t say it was hit by accident – it was intentional,” he said.
The ISIS-linked Amaq footage shows dead children being pulled from the rubble and other seriously injured people.
Anti-Terror Unit Captain Ali al-Bahadili told Anadolu Agency that ISIS’ war administrator, Habib Abdul Jabar, was targeted in a missile attack on the al-Najar neighborhood.
ISIS militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, when they swept across the country's north in the summer of 2014. Iraqi forces have gradually clawed back territory since then, and launched a massive operation to retake Mosul in October last year.
With the battle entering the densely populated areas of western Mosul, civilian casualties are becoming more at risk. The United Nations says several hundred civilians have been killed in during the offensive, and residents say ISIS militants are using them as human shields.