A US air strike killed more than 85 civilians, including children, in Syria on Tuesday after the coalition mistook them for Islamic State fighters.

Some eight families were hit as they tried to flee fighting in their area, in one of the single deadliest strikes on civilians by the alliance since the start of its operations in the war-torn country.

Pictures of the aftermath of the dawn strikes on the Isil-controlled village of Tokhar near Manbij in northern Syria showed the bodies of children as young as three under piles of rubble.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes appeared to have been carried out in error, with the civilians mistaken for Islamist militants.

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