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Russia says US airstrike “war crime”

BAGHDAD – The Russian Defense Ministry says an airstrike in Iraq by the U.S.-led coalition has left dozens of civilians dead.

The ministry’s spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said Friday’s strike on a funeral procession in the town of Daquq has “all the signs of a war crime.”

Konashenkov said two jets of the U.S.-led coalition were involved in the raid, apparently mistaking the procession for militants of the Islamic State group. The IS on Friday launched an attack on the city of Kirkuk, about 30 km north of Daquq.

Daquq Mayor Amir Khodakram says an airstrike hit a funeral procession in the city center on Friday, killing 17 people, mainly women and children, and wounding another 50. He says it was not clear who carried out the airstrike and that an investigation is underway.

Russia has welcomed the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces’ push to dislodge the IS from Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. At the same time, Russia and the U.S. are sharply divided on Syria, where Russian warplanes have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The U.S. military in Baghdad could not immediately be reached for comment.

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