Friday 15 December 2017

At least 90 killed in Syrian air strike on bakery

Robert Tait Beirut

AT least 90 people are believed to have been killed while queuing for bread yesterday, in one of the deadliest episodes of Syria's 21-month civil war.

About 1,000 people were waiting at a bakery in the rebel-held town of Halfaya, in the central province of Hama, when the air strike hit, witnesses said.

Video footage uploaded on YouTube showed dozens of bodies among piles of rubble, and sirens and the cries of women and children could be heard.

There were reports that the death toll was as high as 200. "When I got there, I could see piles of bodies all over the ground. There were women and children," Samer al-Hamawi, an activist in the town, said.

He said crowds often gathered at the bakery. Fuel and flour shortages caused by the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and armed rebels has led to irregular bread production.


"We hadn't received flour in around three days so everyone was going to the bakery," he added. "I don't know yet if my relatives are among the dead."

One video showed a man trying to dig out a woman, drenched in blood, from rubble. Separate footage showed a boy with his feet blown off.

The cameraman in one video is heard sobbing and saying: "It was a war plane, a war plane." In another video, a man is heard shouting: "Where are the Arabs, where is the world? Look at all of these bodies!"

Some men were seen raking through the rubble in a bid to dig out the dead and wounded. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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