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01:53, 02 September 2014 Tuesday

Idlib new massacre kills 42 children

Idlib new massacre kills 42 children

At least 42 children have been killed in government air strikes and shelling across Syria in the last 36 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Sunday.



The Britain-based Observatory said 25 children had been killed between midnight on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, with 17 more killed between Friday and Saturday night.

The deaths came in regime shelling and air strikes across the country, though most took place in the northern province of Aleppo and northwestern Idlib, Observatory director Rami Abdul Rahman said.

Many of the deaths came in raids involving the use of explosive-packed barrel-bombs, a weapon that has been criticized by rights groups as indiscriminate.

Among the dead on Sunday were at least five children killed along with five adults in a barrel bomb attack on the town of Hobait in Idlib province, said the monitor.

In northern Aleppo province, another five children and three adults were killed in an air raid in the west of the province, it added.

In the capital Damascus, meanwhile, regime planes continued to pound the eastern rebel-held district of Jubar, where the government began a fierce offensive earlier this week to wrest back control.

The Observatory said at least 15 air raids hit the district on Sunday, but there were no immediate details about casualties.

Jubar has been in insurgent hands for a year, and is considered strategic because it provides a gateway to the center of the capital and opens onto the key rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta.

In mid-August, the army took Mleiha some 10 kilometers (six miles) southeast of Damascus, and capturing Jubar would allow a two-pronged advance on Eastern Ghouta.

Rebels arrayed around the capital regularly fire mortar and rockets into Damascus.