More people were killed during the nine-month battle to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul than during the three-year occupation by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), a study has claimed.
'Last year’s battle to drive Isil out of Mosul left huge swathes of the city in ruins and displaced up to one million people.
A US-led coalition bombed key targets in what were described as “pinpoint airstrikes” by Michael Fallon, who was then the UK’s defence secretary, when the city was finally liberated last July.
The RAF struck more than 750 targets during the campaign to liberate the city, second only to the US, according to the Ministry of Defence.
But a survey of around 1,200 households in the city shows that mortality rates among civilians increased nearly 13 times during the battle to liberate Mosul.
The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, showed that 505 civilians died from what the researchers called intentional violence. The leading cause of violent death during the period studied was air strikes, accounting for 201 civilian deaths, followed by 172 deaths from explosions.
The survey revealed that there had been seven beheadings, a favoured method of execution by Isil.
Some 15 people died from gunshot wounds, with numbers higher in the west of the city – this would chime with reports of snipers, the study said.
The authors of the paper said it was impossible to extrapolate the total number of civilians killed during the occupation and liberation from their study because the west of the city was more heavily bombarded than the east.'
Read more: Iraq - Coalition forces killed more civilians than Islamic State, study finds
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