Coalition air strike in Mosul now thought to have killed near 200

The US-led coalition air strike a week ago is thought to have hit and detonated a bomb-laden vehicle. Rescue workers are still combing through the rubble looking for bodies.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

Iraqi federal police inside the destroyed Mosul train station in the city of Mosul, Iraq March 18, 2017.

Nearly two hundred bodies have so far been retrieved from the rubble after the coalition air strike last Friday in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Dozens of residents were buried in collapsed buildings after an air strike against Daesh triggered a massive explosion.

The exact cause of the collapses was not clear, but a local lawmaker and two local residents said the air strike may have detonated a truck filled with explosives.

Rescuers were still recovering bodies, civil defence agency officials and locals said on Thursday.

Displaced Iraqis flee their homes on March 24, 2017 as Iraqi forces battle Daesh in western Mosul. (Reuters)

Iraq to use "new techniques" against Daesh snipers

Iraqi forces on Friday were preparing a fresh push against Daesh using new tactics, but operations to drive the militants out of their last stronghold in the country are on hold, military officials said.

Families streamed out of the northern Iraqi city during the lull in fighting. They were part of an exodus of people fleeing in their thousands each day, the United Nations says, heading for cold, crowded camps or to stay with relatives.

The US-backed operation to drive Daesh out of Mosul is now in its sixth month. The entire eastern side and about half of the west is now under Iraqi control.

But advances have stuttered in the last two weeks as fighting enters the narrow-alleyed Old City. Daesh is putting up resistance using car bombs, snipers and mortar fire against forces and residents.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Amir al Mohammedawi, a spokesman for the elite Rapid Response forces said, attacks would soon resume, and "new techniques" more suitable to fighting in the Old City would be used. A federal police officer said they would include additional sniper units against Daesh.

One of the next targets of Iraqi forces inside the Old City is the Al Nuri mosque, whose recapture would be a key symbolic victory. It is where Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in 2014 declared a caliphate spanning large areas of Iraq and Syria.

TRTWorld and agencies