Suspected US air strike killed 23 people in north Syria: Monitor

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Monitoring group claims that 13 civilians including children were killed by an air strike by the US-led coalition against IS

Deir Ezzor, seen here in 2014 (Reuters)
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Tuesday 18 April 2017 12:01 UTC
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Air strikes by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group killed at least 23 civilians in two parts of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on Monday.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition which has said it tries to avoid civilian deaths in its bombing campaigns against Islamic State militants in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

Jets "believed to belong to the international coalition" struck the town of al-Bukamal in the south of the province near the Iraqi border, killing three militants and 13 civilians including children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based war monitoring group said air strikes also killed seven civilians in the town of al-Husainiyah further north along the Euphrates river.

Islamic State militants control most of Deir Ezzor province, which links territory they hold in Syria and Iraq, and parts of the provincial capital, which has the same name.

The Syrian government still controls some parts of Deir Ezzor city, including a nearby military air base, where Islamic State has besieged about 200,000 people lacking food and medicine for around two years.

Syrian government forces and their allies, backed by Russian air power, have been fighting back against Islamic State assaults in the area.