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Air Strike Kills 15 Women Attending Funeral Near Kirkuk In Iraq

An air strike killed 15 women at a funeral outside Kirkuk after Islamic State militants staged attacks in the city, pictured here.

An air strike killed at least 15 women attending a funeral at a shrine near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on October 21, local officials and medics said.

"Fifteen women were killed and another 50 wounded in a raid that targeted a Shi'ite place of worship at Dakuk," local council chief Amir Huda Karam said.

The toll from the afternoon raid was confirmed by the local hospital, some 50 kilometers south of Kirkuk.

Earlier, militants of the Islamic State group attacked Kirkuk in an apparent effort to divert thousands of government troops and militiamen closing in on their stronghold in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

It was not clear whether the funeral strike was connected with the IS attack on Kirkuk. IS does not have an air force, and the identity of the plane that struck the funeral is not as yet known.

Various nations from the United States to Turkey have been conducting air strikes in northern Iraq in the past year, but they have not previously targeted areas near Kirkuk.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa