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HAMBURG, December 9. /TASS/. Russia has questions about conflicting reports of deadly airstrikes on residential areas in the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"I have no detailed information about this incident, but what I have read raises questions. One source said that the airstrikes were carried on purpose, because Islamic State took cover those blocks, that they seized a hospital and turned it into their headquarters. This situation needs to be clarified," Russia’s top diplomat said Thursday, adding that the tactics of placing militant hideouts among civilian targets was very popular among exremists in Syria as well.
"We all need to observe the international humanitarian law and take all the necessary measures in order to reduce to minimum possible negative effects on the civilian population and infrastructure," he added.
According to media reports, combat aircraft, presumably of the Iraqi Air Force, have performed a series of airstrikes on the market in the center of the city, controlled by militants of the Islamic State. The pilots reportedly aimed at terrorist outposts, but missed either on their own fault or due to wrong data.
The bombs fell on residential quarters that were home to hundreds of people, leaving whole families dead or trapped under the rubble.
The death toll is yet unclear. Estimates range between 60 and 120 people.