Sunday 22 July 2018

82 killed as Syrian warplanes bomb market

A girl reacts to the scenes at the Damascus marketplace
A girl reacts to the scenes at the Damascus marketplace

Bassem Mroue Beirut

Syrian government warplanes attacked a busy market in a rebel-held suburb of the capital Damascus yesterday, killing at least 82 people and wounding more than 200, in one of the deadliest single incidents involving government airstrikes since the crisis began nearly five years ago, activists said.

Syrian government air raids on rebel-held areas throughout the country have killed thousands over the past few years.

The air raids occurred during rush hour when people were out shopping on the first working day of the week in Syria, the activists said.

"This is an official massacre that was carried out deliberately," said Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said warplanes fired the first missile and minutes later, when people gathered in the aftermath, another missile hit the same area.

Abdurrahman said a total of four missiles were fired on the market, killing 82 and wounding more than 200. He said the death toll is expected to rise because many of the wounded are in critical condition.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said the air raids killed at least 100 and wounded about 300, adding that rescue workers are digging through the rubble in search of survivors.

"The situation is catastrophic," a Douma-based activist said,

An amateur video posted online by activists showed some 40 bodies of men and boys lined on the side of a street as more bodies were being brought in.

Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 250,000 people and wounded at least a million.

Irish Independent

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