Barrel bombs kill 45 in Syria

2015-05-30 14:26
(Zein al-Rifai, AFP)

(Zein al-Rifai, AFP)

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Beirut - A monitoring group said on Saturday that a series of barrel bombs dropped from Syrian regime helicopters killed at least 45 civilians and wounded dozens in the northern province of Aleppo.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said: "At least 45 civilians were killed, and dozens were wounded, when regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the city of Al-Bab and in Aleppo."

Controlled by ISIS

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said the bombs on Aleppo city struck the rebel-held eastern neighbourhood of Al-Shaar, killing 12 people including eight members of a single family.

The other 33 civilians, all male, were killed at a market in Al-Bab, said Abdel Rahman.

Al-Bab lies about 40km northeast of Aleppo city and is controlled by the extremist Islamic State group.

"People often gather at the Al-Hail market in Al-Bab on Saturday mornings, which is why the number of dead was so high," said Abdel Rahman.

Those killed were all male because women have much less freedom of movement in ISIS-controlled areas, he added.

Crude weapons

The Observatory said the death toll in Al-Bab was likely to rise, as many wounded were in critical condition and another 18 were still unaccounted for.

Barrel bombs are crude weapons made of oil drums, gas cylinders or water tanks packed with explosives and scrap metal that are usually dropped from helicopters.

The Syrian government's use of the weapons has come under fire by rights groups, who say barrel bombs are indiscriminate and often kill many civilians.

Read more on:    isis  |  syria  |  security  |  syria conflict
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