61 BODIES RECOVERED IN MOSUL
Iraqi forces say IS booby-trapped building
ICARRIE LAM, Hong Kong’s next leader
RAQ’S military said yesterday that 61 bodies had been recovered from a collapsed building that was boobytrapped by Islamic State in Western Mosul, but there was no sign it was hit by a coalition strike though a large vehicle bomb was discovered nearby.
The statement was a response to reports by eyewitnesses and local officials that as many as 200 bodies had been removed from a collapsed building after a coalition strike last week targeted IS militants and equipment in al Jadida district.
The incident remains far from clear and details are difficult to confirm as Iraqi forces battle with IS to recapture the densely populated parts of the western half of Mosul, the militant group’s last stronghold in Iraq.
On Saturday, the United States-led coalition said it carried out a strike on IS militants and equipment in the area of the reported deaths, but it was still investigating. It did not give figures for any casualties or details on targets.
The Iraqi military command said eyewitnesses had told troops that the buildings were boobytrapped and militants had forced residents inside basements to use them as human shields. IS militants had also fired on troops from those houses, it said.
But its figures were lower than
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017 other local officials. A local municipal official said on Saturday that 240 bodies had been pulled from the rubble. A local lawmaker and two eyewitnesses said a coalition air strike may have targeted a large truck bomb, triggering a blast that collapsed buildings.
The incident has highlighted the complexity of fighting around Western Mosul’s Old City, where IS fighters are hiding among families and using the narrow streets and alleys to their advantage, forcing Iraqi forces into street fighting. Reuters
Rescue personnel working to recover the bodies of people killed during fighting in Mosul on Friday. Residents said scores of residents were killed when airstrikes hit a cluster of homes.