BAGHDAD – An Iraqi fighter jet accidentally dropped a bomb over a residential neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least eight people in a blunder that officials blamed on a "technical fault."
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said the bomb became stuck and failed to deploy during a sortie over the western province of Anbar, where government forces are battling militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. As the plane returned to base, the bomb accidentally fell on the Christian-Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad al-Jadida, in the eastern part of the capital.
Iraq has just a handful of functioning fighter jets, which it acquired second hand from Russia and Iran in its attempts to cobble together an air force in the wake of ISIL's advances last year. Monday's misfire is not the first mistake involving the aging Sukhoi fighter jets, which accidentally bombed government forces in the city of Tikrit earlier this year.
"The lousy government is killing us all," wailed Iqbal Turki, whose cousin Ibrahim Abbas was killed in the strike. "An Iraqi plane bombing its own civilians, how can this happen?"