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Monday, 18 November 2019

Activists say death toll rises in bombings of Syria's Aleppo

AP , Wednesday 12 Oct 2016
In this picture taken, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria (Photo: AP)
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An intensive day of bombing in Syria's besieged rebel-held Aleppo city left at least 25 people dead, including five children, overwhelming rescue workers who continued a day later Wednesday to search for survivors under the rubble, according to activists and a civil defense spokesman.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that Tuesday's bombings killed 25 people. But the Syrian Civil Defense, a team of first responders in rebel-held areas, and activist media platform Aleppo Media Center put the death toll at 41.

The bombings resumed Tuesday and continued into Wednesday, shattering a relative lull in the nearly month-old intensive aerial campaign from Syrian and Russian warplanes on the stricken territory.

The Observatory said Wednesday at least 358 civilians have been killed in eastern Aleppo since a U.S.-Russian cease-fire collapsed on Sept. 19. The U.N. says over 100 children have been killed in the campaign, which has also included a limited ground offensive.

Syria Civil Defense workers pulled at least one boy alive from under the rubble Tuesday, amid cheers from onlookers in eastern Aleppo's al-Fardous neighborhood. The boy emerged covered in dust and dazed from the flattened building, grapping his rescuer tightly.

His mother survived but remains in critical condition, said Ibrahim al-Haj, a member of the first-responder team, also known as the White Helmets. The boy had lost his father and brother in previous bombings, according to al-Haj.

At least 14 people were killed in the bombing in al-Fardous, according to the civil defense and Aleppo Media Center. A bombing in the adjacent Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood left 25 dead, according to both groups.

The U.N. Security Council is deadlocked over how to respond to the Aleppo crisis. The U.S. and Russia have failed to reach an agreement on renewing the short-lived cease-fire.

International aid groups and U.N. agencies have appealed for a halt to the violence to allow aid to the besieged territory. No assistance has entered Aleppo since July while hospitals, medical facilities and rescue vehicles have all come under attack.

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