At least 23 people, including six children, have been killed in suspected Russian air strikes on a market in a Damascus suburb, witnesses and a monitor said.
Baraa, a Syrian activist in Douma, said on Friday that Russian air strikes had hit the Kouatly market in Douma, just outside of the capital. Several people were critically wounded.
“We have been hearing warplanes roaming above us. The air strikes targeted a busy market,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Most of those killed and injured are [adult] women and men. We know those warplanes are Russian because of the type of missiles that were used.
“The rebels also have special devices that can intercept signals from approaching warplanes; they are Russian,” Baraa said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the toll was expected to rise because of the number of people seriously wounded.
Footage of the aftermath posted on YouTube purportedly showed people attempting to carry the injured into vans for safety, away from the burning remains of the market.
An officer from the Douma branch of the Syria Civil Defence department, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that at least three air strikes had targeted residential areas in the suburb within one hour.
“The air strikes are targeting the centre of Douma, including a market and residential street,” he said.
“Not just air strikes – rockets are being launched into the city too. More than 21 people have been killed, including two children, and dozens of others have been injured.
“The Syria Civil Defence members are at the scene now trying to rescue the civilians. The death toll is expected to rise,” he told Al Jazeera over the phone.
Douma, which lies east of Damascus, has been under intense government attack for weeks.
Last week, air strikes in Douma killed 61 people and left over 100 others injured.