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ANTAKYA, Turkey -- An airstrike by the U.S.-led military coalition in northern Syria this week killed eight civilians, including two women and five children, according to neighbors and relatives of the dead.

The episode revived accusations by monitoring groups that the United States and its allies are not careful enough about who is killed by the air campaign against militant groups.

The target of the strike, mounted late Tuesday in Atmeh, a village near the Turkish border, was a munitions factory run by an Islamist rebel group. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 10 foreign fighters had been killed.

But the explosions also caused the roofs of nearby homes to collapse, witnesses said.

"My brother lost his five daughters, and I lost my wife," Maan Amouri said in a telephone interview from Atmeh soon after the blast, referring to his fiancee, Fatima Yassin, who was killed.

Monitoring groups say the United States and its allies regularly underreport the civilian toll of the air campaign.

The U.S.-led coalition began bombing in Syria in September 2014. Since then, the coalition has mounted 2,300 strikes in Syria.

U.S. officials say they strive to avoid civilian casualties and investigate all reports of wrongful deaths.

In an email Thursday, the U.S. Central Command said it had received reports of 31 such episodes since the air campaign began and had dismissed 17 of them as not credible. Six episodes are being investigated, the command said.

Monitoring groups say that the command's figures are a gross understatement and that coalition strikes have taken a much higher toll.

According to the Observatory, 181 civilians have died because of coalition strikes, including the eight in Atmeh.

A Section on 08/15/2015

Print Headline: 8 civilians killed by U.S.-led strike, Syrians say

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