Syrias Aleppo bombed again after deadly hospital

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Government aircraft pounded rebel areas of Syria's second city Aleppo on Friday, damaging a clinic just days after a strike on another hospital killed two doctors and sparked international outcry.

More than 200 civilians have been killed in Aleppo over the past week, as rebels fire rockets into government-held neighbourhoods and regime air strikes hit opposition areas. The bloodshed has brought a landmark February 27 ceasefire to the verge of collapse and raised fears of a humanitarian crisis in the northern metropolis.

Despite the bloodshed, Aleppo is excluded from a fresh "freeze" in fighting brokered by the United States and Russia.
Syria's armed forces said that the freeze would begin at 1am on Saturday (2200 GMT Friday) and last for 24 hours in Damascus and the nearby rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, and 72 hours in the coastal Latakia province. A Syrian security source said the deal came as part of a US-Russia agreement, but that Moscow had refused a request by Washington to include Aleppo in the pact.

On Friday, at least 11 people were killed in regime bombardment of the city's eastern districts, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Rebel groups fired a barrage of rockets on government-controlled western neighbourhoods, killing at least 13 people, the monitor said.

Air strikes and barrel bombs could be heard across rebel neighbourhoods, mixing with the wail of ambulances, an AFP correspondent in the city said.

"The planes didn't sleep and didn't let us sleep either," one resident of the densely populated Bustan al-Qasr district told AFP. "The earth is shaking beneath our feet."

One raid hit a local clinic in the rebel-held Al-Maja neighbourhood, wounding several people including a nurse, the civil defence group known as the White Helmets said. The clinic, which had been providing dental services and treatment for chronic illnesses for about five years, was badly damaged. Medical equipment lay scattered across the clinic's floor, covered in debris and dust, an AFP correspondent there said.

Source PTI

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