US air strikes in Baghdad kill toddlers-TV footage

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BAGHDAD, Oct 21 (Reuters) US air strikes in a Shi'ite stronghold of Baghdad today killed at least two toddlers, Reuters television footage showed.

Police said a total of 13 people were killed in the strikes and more than 50 were wounded.

In the morgue of Imam Ali hospital in the district of Sadr city the bodies of two toddlers, one wearing a nappy, lay on blankets while doctors tended to wounded men and boys, the video footage showed.

In the house where one of the toddlers lived, a man who said he was a cousin, pointed to bloodstained mattresses and blood-splattered pillows, choking back tears as he held up a photo showing one of the dead children.

''We were waking in the morning and all of a sudden rockets landed in the house and the children were screaming,'' said a woman outside the house.

The US military confirmed it had conducted early morning operations in Sadr city ''targeting criminals believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of coalition soldiers in November 2006 and May 2007''.

REUTERS SYU PM1405

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