toll in Syrian bombing raid on Aleppo rises to 76: monitor
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[December 16, 2013]
BEIRUT (Reuters) — Seventy-six
people, including 28 children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army
helicopters dropped "barrel bombs" on the northern city of Aleppo, the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.
Barrel bombs are explosive-filled cylinders or oil barrels, often
rolled out of the back of helicopters with little attempt at
striking a particular target but capable of causing widespread
casualties and significant damage.
The Britain-based Observatory said that rebel groups in Aleppo
issued a statement asking civilians in government-held parts of the
city to move away from state security buildings, which they said
would be targeted in retaliation for the bombings.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces, battling rebels in a 2-1/2 year
conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, frequently deploy
air power and artillery against rebel-held districts across the
They have been unable to recapture eastern and central parts of
Aleppo, which rebels stormed in the summer of 2012, but they have
driven rebel fighters back from towns to the southeast of the city
in recent weeks.
The conflict has grown sectarian, with majority Sunni rebels
battling Assad's own Alawite sect and Shi'ite militia.
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The Observatory — which has a network of opposition, pro-government
and medical sources — also said on Monday that rebels in northern
Aleppo province were threatening to strike two Shi'ite villages they
have surrounded with missiles if barrel bombs were used again by the
(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; editing by John Stonestreet)
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