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HRW Calls For Probe Of Iraqi Air Strike That Killed Displaced Civilians

An international rights group has called for an investigation into a September 1 Iraqi air strike on a school housing displaced families that killed 31 civilians, including 24 children.

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch made the call on September 14, a day after Iraq’s new prime minister said he’d ordered the army to stop shelling militant-held residential areas to minimize civilian casualties.

The air strike was at the town of al-Alam, just outside the northern city of Tikrit.

Three survivors said the school sheltered about 70 people from an extended family who fled the militants’ advance into Tikrit in June.

They said there were no militants or military equipment in or near the school at the time of the attack.

Human Rights Watch quoted Iraqi officials who said the pilot targeted a car driving near the school with fighters and explosives, causing a secondary explosion.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP