Syrian forces 'kill dozens' in barrel bomb attack

At least 42 people, including six children, killed by barrel bombs in rebel-held village near Damascus, activists say.

    Syrian government air raids have killed at least 42 people in a rebel-held village near Damascus, activists and a group monitoring the violence have said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported a "massacre" against the village of Hamoriyah in eastern Ghouta area on Friday, as at least 42 people, including six children were killed.

    The Britain-based watchdog said government helicopters dropped five barrel bombs on the village.

    According to the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a grassroots network of opponents of the government, one of the air strikes hit a square where people had gathered for the weekly Muslim Friday prayers.

    The opposition Syrian Media Organisation posted footage on YouTube of several bodies lying on a blood-stained floor, some of them children with blast wounds. Other bodies lay under white shrouds or jackets.

    Another opposition group, the Shaam News Network, published a video on its Facebook page showing what it said was the aftermath of a blast in an open square. Bodies lay on the road and buildings were damaged.

    Al Jazeera could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

    Syria's air force began launching strikes against opposition-held areas in the summer of 2012, with rights groups blasting the regime for attacks they say fail to discriminate between civilian and military targets.

    The rebel-held eastern Ghouta area, located east of the capital, has been under army siege for more than a year, leaving tens of thousands of civilians short of food and medical supplies.

    Meanwhile, Al Jazeera has learnt that at least four people have been killed in government air strikes on Houla town near Homs city.

    Three explosive barrels were thrown on the village when residents started to leave the mosques after Friday prayers.

    Al Jazeera's journalist in the southern city of Deraa reported that another air raid killed at least six civilians, including a child, in Dael town near Deraa city, on Friday.

    According to the UN, at least 220,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the civil war that began with an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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