independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Barrel bombs dropped on Aleppo

Syrian government planes have attacked the city of Aleppo

Government aircraft have dropped barrel bombs on the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 11 people, according to Syrian activists.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the makeshift bombs were dropped on two rebel-held districts of Aleppo today. A child and a woman are among those who died, the Observatory said.

The attacks are part of a campaign by President Bashar Assad's forces to wrest control of Aleppo, parts of which were seized by rebels in mid-2012.

Barrel bombs are containers that have been packed with hundreds of pounds of explosives. They are loaded onto Syrian military helicopters and pushed out of the rear door.

AP

In Homs, the governor said that over 600 people have been evacuated from rebel-held parts of the city, in a rare ceasefire with rebels.

Governor Talal Barrazi gave the final number of evacuees after aid workers finished their work for the day.

The evacuation is part of a three-day truce that began on Friday between government forces and armed rebels to allow hundreds of women, children and elderly men to leave opposition-held parts of Homs, and to permit the entry of food.

Forces loyal to Assad have blockaded rebel-held parts of Homs for over a year, causing widespread hunger and suffering among residents. The United Nations mediated the truce.

Earlier today, gunmen opened fire on civilians waiting to be evacuated.

AP

Press Association

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