On Sunday, security operations against Islamic State militants in west Mosul resumed. Iraqi military officials also stated a reduction in the number of civilians killed in a March 17 explosion to 61 dead. Local officials say that as many as 240 people were killed. Some civilian witnesses say that an airstrike caused the destruction of several buildings. Others propose that the airstrike triggered a truck bomb already on site. The Iraqi military officially claims there is no evidence of an airstrike; however the United States already admitted to staging an airstrike. One Iraqi general suggested that contributing airstrikes were conducted on several days.
The federal government in Baghdad has long understated both military and civilian casualties for morale purposes, and this could be another example of that practice. Reporters from the Associated Press witnessed about 50 bodies being pulled from the rubble, but news of the explosion did not reach media outlets until days after the event, so it is unclear how many bodies were not seen being removed. More bodies were retrieved on Sunday. Meanwhile, ISIS/Daesh has frequently been accused of using human shields, which could also be a factor here. The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights says the group has already recorded 3,846 civilian deaths.
The Ministry of Immigration and Displacement reported that over 433,000 civilians have been displaced in the Mosul theater.
A cholera outbreak has been reported in Mosul. Twelve children have died and 78 others have fallen ill, according to the Nineveh health department.
At least 242 were killed and 50 were wounded in the latest violence:
In Mosul, 191 civilians were killed while trying to escape the Eqtisadien and Thawra neighborhoods. Shelling left 16 civilians dead and 43 wounded in Nabi Yunus market. A car bomb killed four people and wounded six more. A high number of civilian casualties has been reported in Sunday’s clashes. An airstrike killed three prominent militant leaders, among others. Six snipers were killed. A suicide bomber was killed at the Nouri Mosque.
One person was killed and three were wounded while trying to flee Hawija.
In Baghdad, a bomb at a grocery store in Hoor al-Basha left one dead and three wounded.
A bomb in Jurf al-Sakhar left five militiamen wounded.
Fourteen militants were killed, including a commander, during an airstrike on Serg-Khana, near Mosul.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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