UK & World News

  • 29 December 2013, 1:55

Syria: Barrel-Bombs Dropped On City 'Kill 25'

At least 25 people have been killed in the northern city of Aleppo after the Syrian military dropped improvised "barrel bombs" from aircraft, according to opposition activists.

The barrels packed with explosives and metal fragments reportedly detonated in a crowded vegetable market and damaged a nearby hospital.

Video purportedly from the scene showed corpses being pulled from wrecked buildings and burnt out vehicles. In other images, local residents dug through the rubble for survivors.

The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a network of activists inside the country, called the bombing a "massacre".

"The raid targeted a crowded market where people were buying vegetables and home appliances," it said.

"Many buildings have been damaged, and one collapsed."

At least four of the dead were believed to be children.

"We have picked up pieces of children's bodies - they were there with two women and a man," one man said in video said to show the aftermath of the attack.

"Inside the car there were bodies of women with their heads severed. We put the remains in bags ... May God take his vengeance against you, tyrant," he added, referring to Mr Assad.

Hundreds of people have been killed by air raids around the city of Aleppo in recent weeks, many of them women and children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group based in Britain.

Rebel fighting to remove President Bashar al Assad from power have control of large parts of Aleppo, but in recent weeks the government has regained territory to the southeast of the city.

Human rights groups have criticised the use of barrel bombs as being an "indiscriminate" and "unlawful" form of bombardment.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the conflict began with a series of peaceful protests against the regime nearly three years ago.

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