Near Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) - Air strikes carried out in recent days have killed dozens of civilians in west Mosul, where Iraqi forces are battling jihadists, officials said on Saturday.
Both Iraqi aircraft and a US-led international coalition are bombing the Islamic State group in the Mosul area.
"There are dozens of bodies still under the rubble," Bashar al-Kiki, the head of the Nineveh provincial council, told AFP.
Nawfal Hammadi, the governor of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, said the coalition had carried out the strikes in the city's Mosul al-Jadida area, killing "more than 130 civilians."
"The Daesh terrorist organisation is seeking to stop the advance of the Iraqi forces in Mosul at any cost, and it is gathering civilians... and using them as human shields," Hammadi told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
Other officials said that hundreds of people had died in the strikes. It was not possible to independently confirm the tolls.
An Iraqi brigadier general said that strikes had damaged more than 27 residential buildings and that three of them were completely destroyed.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the strikes were carried out after IS targeted military aircraft and attacked Iraqi forces with sniper fire.
IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since retaken most of the territory they lost.
Iraqi forces launched the operation to recapture Mosul in October, retaking the east of the city before setting their sights on the smaller but more densely populated west.