Unfriendly fire: US strikes that have killed civilians

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2017 2:44 PM
Unfriendly fire: US strikes that have killed civilians

The explosion in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul last week, which residents say killed more than 100 civilians, may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike, making it potentially one of the deadliest attacks on civilians ever carried out by American forces.

The U.S. military says it is investigating the blast, which may have been caused by an Islamic State truck bomb that was either hit by the airstrike or detonated by the militants near a building packed with dozens of civilians. The civilians may also have been held as human shields.

Amnesty International said Tuesday that a recent spike in civilian casualties indicates the U.S. military is not taking adequate precautions, and that another strike in Mosul on Saturday may have killed up to 150 civilians. The U.S.-led coalition, which is helping Iraqi forces drive IS militants from the country's second-largest city, says it is investigating multiple strikes that allegedly resulted in civilian deaths.

Here is a look at past incidents in which U.S. fire has killed large numbers of civilians.

Nov. 3, 2016 — During a firefight between NATO-backed Afghan forces and the Taliban in the northern Kunduz province, troops responded to fire from insurgents who had taken up positions in civilian homes, killing 33 civilians and wounding 27, according to the U.S. military, which expressed regret.

Oct. 3, 2015 — A U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship attacked a Kunduz hospital run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, killing 42 people. Sixteen U.S. military personnel, including a two-star general, were disciplined for what American officials described as mistakes that led to the strike. Doctors Without Borders has called the attack a war crime and demanded an independent investigation.

Aug. 22, 2008 — An Afghan government commission and a preliminary U.N. report found that a U.S.-led military operation in the village of Azizabad killed 90 civilians, including 60 children and 15 women.

Feb 13, 1991 — At the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, a U.S. bombing attack in Iraq was alleged to have killed hundreds of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Ameriya air raid shelter, which the United States insisted was being used for military communications. The Iraqi Information Ministry said at least 400 civilians were killed in the raid, and civil defense officials estimated the toll at more than 500.

July 3, 1988 — A U.S. warship mistakenly shot down an Iranian jetliner in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war, killing 290 people and prompting widespread anger at U.S. policy and years of legal dispute.