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Syria air raids kill scores in Aleppo: report

Third day of barrel bomb attacks on city takes death toll to nearly 150 as regime continues air campaign.

Last updated: 03 Feb 2014 16:05
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Syrian government forces have attacked a number of Aleppo's districts with barrel bombs for a third day, with scores of people killed over the 72-hour period, according to monitor groups and sources.

The latest attack across the country's second city on Monday killed at least 30, sources told Al Jazeera. Unverified activist footage show children were among those wounded in the attack.

The attacks took place on Hanano, Sakour, Sha'ar and al-Hedariya districts in Aleppo.

The bombing adds to a toll of at least 150 people killed in similar attacks over the previous two days, as reported by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Barrel bombs have killed more than 700 people in Syria in the past six weeks. Their use has been denounced as indiscriminate, not least by Western powers at last week's peace talks in Switzerland.

Sunday's attacks included a wave of barrel bombs in the residential district of Tareq al-Bab. A reported 21 people were killed, including 13 children, according to the observatory. Another 15 died in air raids and barrel-bomb attacks in other areas. The observatory reported 85 deaths to similar attacks on the city on Saturday.

Western powers proposed a UN Security Council resolution in December to condemn the use of barrel bombs, which they say indiscriminately target civilians.

But Russia, a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly blocked such plans in the Security Council.

Once Syria's economic hub, large parts of Aleppo have been devastated by the fighting that began there in mid-2012. The city is split into areas held by regime and rebel forces.

Donation drive

The reports of fresh attacks came as a UN-organised meeting of key international players in Rome endorsed a dozen steps to ensure immediate humanitarian relief.

The UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos did not give details about the actions, saying only that they involved "access to besieged communities, access to hard to reach areas, demilitarization of schools and hospitals'' and progress on funding.

The meeting, attended by international organisations and state representatives, follows a summit in Kuwait, where nations pledged more than $2bn to aid. The UN has set a target of more than $6bn.

Jacky Rowland, reporting from Rome, said that the the UN was looking at a grim future for Syria.

"We are going to have more violence, and more people displaced," she said. "There are already two million refugees, most in neighbouring countries, and they expect that number to double by the end of the year.

"There is also a big question about who is giving these people protection. There have been repeated calls for wealthy nations to open their borders to refugees."

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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