Middle East

Iraq conflict: Air strikes on IS-held border town 'kill dozens'

Screengrab of video by IS-affiliated Amaq news agency purportedly showing the aftermath of the attack in al-Qaim (7 December 2016) Image copyright Amaq
Image caption An IS-affiliated news agency published a video purportedly showing the aftermath of the attack

More than 60 people are reported to have been killed in air strikes on an Islamic State-controlled Iraqi town that is close to the Syrian border.

Witnesses said unidentified jets had targeted the centre of al-Qaim, about 300km (186 miles) north-west of Baghdad, late on Wednesday afternoon.

One strike had missed a mosque used by IS militants as a headquarters and hit residential buildings, they added.

Nineteen children and 12 women were among the casualties, a medic said.

The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency published video purportedly showing the aftermath of what it called a "massacre perpetrated by Iraqi aircraft" in al-Qaim.

The footage showed vehicles on fire on a main road lined with shops, damaged buildings, and the bodies of several children.

Amaq said that more than 120 people had been killed in the air strikes.

One Iraqi MP said he also believed the Iraqi Air Force had carried out the attack.

Ahmed al-Salmani, a member of the Coalition of Iraqi Forces parliamentary bloc, said in a statement that he based the claim on the reported inaccuracy of the strikes and high number of civilian casualties.

There was no immediate comment from the Iraqi military or government.

The US-led multinational coalition that is supporting the government in its fight against IS has also carried out air strikes around al-Qaim.

Al-Arabiya TV put the death toll at 70, but did not say who was thought responsible.

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