Jihadists cut water supply in Syria's Aleppo: NGO

AFP , Saturday 10 May 2014

Residents of Syria's second city Aleppo have been without water for a week because jihadists have cut supplies into rebel and regime-held areas, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front had cut water supplies from a pump distributing to both the rebel-held east and government-held west of Aleppo.

Last month, opposition forces cut the electricity supply to regime-controlled areas of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside.

But Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the groups were unable to cut off water supplies to regime areas without also affecting rebel-held neighbourhoods, calling the move "a crime."

Once home to some five million residents and considered Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been divided between government and opposition control since shortly after fighting there began in mid-2012.

Around three million people have been displaced from the city since then by fighting and relentless regime aerial bombardments of rebel areas.

Opposition forces also regularly shell regime-held parts of the city in the west.

The Observatory said the week of water cuts had forced residents to queue in front of wells to collect water, and the Britain-based group warned that some people were drinking unclean water risking a spread of disease.

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