A barrage of artillery fire struck a housing area for displaced residents in rebel-held eastern Aleppo Wednesday, killing at least 21 civilians, activists said, as another eight civilians were killed in shelling on the government-held western side of the city, according to state media.
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The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which maintains a network of contacts in the war-torn country, said it was the second time the Jub al-Quba neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo was struck in two days. An airstrike killed 25 civilians Tuesday. Thousands of east Aleppo residents have moved to Jub al-Quba and other such neighbourhoods fleeing a government advance on the rebel-held east.
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The Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group operating in eastern Aleppo put the toll at 45 killed. Images published by the Civil Defence showed bodies strewn on a debris-filled road in an attack they It blamed on government forces.
Syrian Observatory chief Rami Abdurrahman said he predicts death tolls will spiral in east Aleppo as the internal displacement creates more residential density.
Syrian state media said two children were among the eight killed in shelling on the city’s western neighbourhoods, which it blamed on the rebels.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Aleppo as pro-government Syrian forces press on with their campaign to reclaim the divided city.
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The Observatory said more than 50,000 out of an estimated quarter-million inhabitants have been displaced by attacks on rebel-held eastern Aleppo over the past 4 days. Many of them fled to safer ground in areas under government or Kurdish control. The International Committee of the Red Cross says around 20,000 people have fled.
The Lebanese Al-Manar TV channel reported from the Aleppo countryside that pro-government forces were advancing in the southern portion of the city’s rebel enclave. The government has seized much of the northern half of the enclave in a swift advance that began Saturday.
© 2016 The Canadian Press