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42 Killed in Airstrike on Syrian Mosque, Rights Office Reports


In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian injured men wait to receive medical treatments after they wounded in the main judicial building, which was attacked by a suicide bomber, in Damascus, Syria, March 15, 2017.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 42 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in an airstrike on a mosque in northern Syria.

The London-based observatory said it was unable to determine whose planes carried out the raid Thursday in the Jennah area in Aleppo province.

The U.S. military said it had carried out a strike on an al-Qaida meeting in northern Syria that was near a mosque.

“We did not target a mosque,” said Colonel John J. Thomas, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, “but the building that we did target, which was where the meeting took place, is about 50 feet (15 meters) from a mosque that is still standing.”

Syrian and Russian military have also conducted airstrikes in the region.

The observatory said the mosque was packed with worshippers for evening prayers. It said more than 100 people were wounded, with many trapped in the rubble of the collapsed mosque.

“We are going to look into any allegations of civilian casualties in relation to this strike,” Thomas said. “We take this very seriously.”

The airstrike came a day after suicide attacks in the capital, Damascus, killed at least 30 people on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict.

The civil war has killed 400,000 people, wounded more than 1 million and displaced half the country’s population.