WASHINGTON – A U.S. bomb that fell on a building in the Iraqi city of Mosul set off explosive materials that have already been placed in by the Islamic State fighters, allowing the structure to collapse and killing more than 100 civilians, a U.S. military investigation concluded Thursday.
The 500-pound bomb dropped by an AMERICAN plane on the 17 March was intended to kill two snipers who are a threat to the Iraqi counter-terrorism forces, the lead investigator, U. S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Isler, said in a telephone briefing for reporters at the Pentagon.
The probe found that the AMERICAN bomb triggered secondary explosions of devices secretly planted in the lower floors of the concrete building, Isler said. He said that neither the Iraqi forces, nor the Americans, who authorized and carried out the raid knew civilians were in the building or that the explosive materials were present.
It was probably the biggest event of the civilian dead since the AMERICAN air strikes against IS began in 2014.
Isler said 101 citizens in the building were killed, and the other four died in a nearby building. He said 36 civilians remain missing. The deaths of about a quarter of all civilian deaths in connection with the AMERICAN air strikes since the air strikes began in 2014.