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US boosts team to investigate civilian deaths in Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military has more than doubled the size of the team that investigates reports of civilian casualties in strikes by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.

Independent and activist groups raised concerns about the growing number of civilians being killed in airstrikes, particularly as the fight has moved to heavily populated urban areas such as Mosul and Raqqa.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a military spokesman in Baghdad, says five full-time members are being added to the team, which to date included only two full-time and two part-time personnel. He says aviation, intelligence and legal experts were added, and will allow the team to act more quickly on civilian casualty reports.

The U.S. recently acknowledged that more than 100 civilians were killed in a bombing in Mosul in March.

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