Airstrike kills 8 family members in Iraq's Mosul

They are now battling to take the northwestern part from ISIS but the civilian death toll has mounted in the densely populated old city, where the militants are dug in amongst residents. The coalition has faced criticism for mounting civilian casualties in Mosul, the most controversial incident a March 17 strike in the Al-Jadida neighborhood of the city, which left at least 140 people dead, according to the United Nations.

ISIS' Amaq news agency said seven suicide fighters attacked a police position and the home of the head of the city's counter-terrorism service, who was killed.

A total of 31 bodies were taken to hospital, including 14 policemen, said Nawfal Mustafa, a doctor at the city's main hospital.

Five militants are thought to be hiding and Mahmoud said Tikrit authorities had declared a curfew on Wednesday.

The current phase of the campaign is the most hard as narrow alleyways in the densely populated old city limit the use of artillery, air power and armoured vehicles.

In February, Iraqi ground forces - backed by USA -led coalition air power - began fresh operations aimed at ousting Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group's last bastion in northern Iraq.

The US-led coalition carrying out strikes against IS - which has admitted that it "probably" played a role in recent civilian casualties in Mosul - has said that the militants are surreptitiously forcing civilians into homes and then seeking to encourage air strikes on them.

More than 302,000 people have fled Mosul since the start of the offensive, with the International Organization for Migration saying 30,000 people were displaced last week alone.

Iraqi and USA -led worldwide coalition officials have repeatedly warned that after Mosul, ISIS will likely return to its insurgent roots as it loses more territory in both Iraq and neighboring Syria.

"The house was totally destroyed and the whole family was killed", one of the witnesses said, requesting anonymity due to security concerns.

  • Leroy Wright