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Thursday, Mar 30th

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US coalition investigating reports of deadly Mosul airstrike

Mosul air strike being investigatedThe U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group is investigating reports of an airstrike in a western neighborhood in the Iraqi city of Mosul that allegedly left more than 100 civilians dead, according to a statement given to The Associated Press on Friday.

The suspected high toll underscores the difficulties that Iraqi troops face in the weeks-long fight to route the Sunni militant group from the densely urban part of the city, Iraq's second-largest.

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2016 Was Worst Year Yet For Children Caught In Syria's War, UNICEF Says

Syria's children deaths in 2016Violence in Syria took a horrible toll on the country's children last year, the United Nations' children's agency says, with the civil war blamed for killing at least 652 children — 255 of whom were either in or near a school.

In another unsettling trend, 851 children were recruited and used in the conflict in 2016 — double the figure who were recruited in 2015, UNICEF says. The agency says that children's deaths rose 20 percent and injuries rose by 25 percent.

The agency's report, released Monday, is titled "Hitting Rock Bottom."

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‘Blackwater Air’ Is Back, and Flying for U.S. Special Forces

Blackwater is backA mercenary air force that became a symbol of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is back in action—this time in Central Africa, supporting a shadowy American U.S. Special Forces commando operation targeting the Lord’s Resistance Army.

In late January, a source on the ground in Central African Republic spotted a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter with the registry number N408RC carrying American Special Forces troops. The LRA, a cultish band of thieves and rapists led by warlord Joseph Kony, is most active in the forested region where Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet.

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UN: Coalition air raids kill 18 civilians in Helmand

UN Coalition raid kills women and children in AfghanistanCivilians, mostly women and children, were killed last week in air raids by coalition forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an initial United Nations inquiry suggested.

On Thursday and Friday, as many as 18 civilians died in air strikes in Helmand's Sangin district, according to a statement released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Sunday.

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U.S. Commando Dies In Yemen Raid That Kills Around 30 People

Southern YemenA U.S. commando died in a dawn raid in southern Yemen on Sunday that killed around 30 people including al Qaeda suspects and civilians, the U.S. military and local Yemeni officials said.

It was the first combat casualty of the Trump administration and its first operation in the war-damaged Arabian Peninsula nation against a powerful al Qaeda branch that has been a frequent target of U.S. drone strikes.

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Guterres: Thousands of child soldiers fight in Somalia

Somalia's child soldiersUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed alarm at reports that children may constitute a large part of the force recruited and used by the armed al-Shabab group in Somalia.

In a report to the Security Council circulated this week, the UN chief said al-Shabab used children in combat, with nine-year-olds reportedly taught to use weapons and sent to frontlines. Children were also used to transport explosives, work as spies, carry ammunition or perform domestic chores, Guterres said.

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UNHCR: 3,000 fleeing Iraqis seized by ISIL

Fleeing IraqisFighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have reportedly captured up to 3,000 fleeing villagers in northern Iraq, according to the UN refugee agency, or UNHCR.

In its daily report on events in Iraq, UNHCR said on Friday that 12 of the captives were thought to had been executed by ISIL, also known as ISIS.

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