independent

Friday 25 April 2014

'20 die' in Syria warplanes raid

Syrian President Bashar Assad has been relying on air power in recent months

Syrian warplanes have bombed an olive oil factory packed with farmers, killing at least 20 people, activists said.

The bombing comes as the civil war takes a devastating toll on an already beleaguered population. Human Rights Watch said it found "compelling evidence" that the regime used cluster bombs in an airstrike that killed at least 11 children earlier this week.

It was not immediately clear whether the olive press was the intended target, or if the plane misfired. There was no official reaction to the latest allegations.

But two anti-regime activist groups - the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Co-ordination Committees - said the factory was hit near the northern city of Idlib.

The Observatory said "tens were killed or wounded," while the LCC said at least 20 people were killed. Syria restricts independent media coverage, making it difficult to determine the exact toll.

Both groups depend on a network of activists on the ground around the country.

President Bashar Assad's regime has been relying on air power in recent months, mostly in the northern province of Idlib, the nearby province of Aleppo, Deir el-Zour to the east and suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

Also, Syria's air force targeted a village in north-eastern Hasekah province as well as the town of Harim, in Idlib province, according to Turkish media.

At least four people wounded in Hasekah were taken to neighbouring Turkey for treatment.

Press Association

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