Air raids on rebel-held districts kill at least 28 civilians in Syria's Aleppo

Aleppo: Air raids on rebel-held districts of Syria's battleground second city of Aleppo killed at least 28 civilians including children on Saturday, a monitor said.

The death toll from what residents said an attack with barrel bombs steadily rose throughout the day as bombardment rocked the city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Eleven civilians, including four children, were killed by air raids after midnight in the Bab al-Nasr area of Old Aleppo, and seven others were killed in Fardous neighbourhood," the monitor said.

At least six people, including a child and two women, were killed in the Salhin district, in addition to four more civilians in other rebel-controlled neighbourhoods, the Britain-based monitor said.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources across Syria for its information, said the air strikes were likely either Russian or regime warplanes.

"At least 20 people are still under the rubble," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Syrian state news agency, for its part, reported that one person was killed and nine others were wounded in rebel rocket fire on government-controlled parts of the city.

An AFP correspondent in eastern Aleppo said helicopters and fighter jets were circling rebel-held neighbourhoods, adding that barrel bombs — crude, unguided explosive devices — had been dropped on several areas.

"All of a sudden there was a barrel bomb on top of us. We came outside and a second one, then a third one hit us," said Ahmad Erfan, a teenager living in the Salhin neighbourhood.

A hospital in the Maadi neighbourhood was hit in the bombing, wounding some of the staff and patients inside.

"All kinds of weapons were used to bomb the hospital, from midnight until about 11:00 am. Now it's unusable," Mohammad Kheir, one of its doctors, told AFP.

"There were some injuries among the medical staff but thankfully they are only light wounds."

A crying woman clad in a black robe desperately grasped the leg of a bloodied young man as doctors treated him on the hospital floor.

Twisted metal frames and damaged medical equipment lay strewn across the room, some next to small pools of blood.

The Observatory said rebel fighters shelled government-controlled western areas of Aleppo, but had no immediate
word on any casualties.

Aleppo city is divided roughly between government control in the west and rebel control in the east.

It was once Syria's commercial powerhouse but has since been ravaged by the country's five-year war.

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Updated Date: Jul 17, 2016 09:18:00 IST

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