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36 dead in air strikes on Syria's Aleppo: monitor

03 february 2014, 12:13
At least 36 people were killed Sunday in regime air strikes and aerial attacks with explosive-packed barrels on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, AFP reports citing a monitoring group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime aircraft carried out a series of deadly air strikes for a second day in eastern parts of the city.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that most of the dead were killed in several raids in which regime helicopters dropped so-called barrel bombs on the Tariq al-Bab district.

He said 21 people were killed in three strikes in the eastern neighbourhood, among them 13 children.

The other deaths were in additional air strikes and barrel bomb attacks in the city, which is divided between regime and rebel control.

The latest bloodshed comes a day after at least 85 people were killed in a string of barrel bomb attacks and aerial raids, according to the Observatory.

The Britain-based group relies on a network of activists and other sources on the ground for its reporting.

Government troops have been advancing in the area around Aleppo city, once the country's economic hub.

The Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the government, said Sunday that government troops had seized control of most of the east Karam al-Turab district -- which the Observatory confirmed.

The newspaper said troops were seeking to take control of several eastern and northern districts in a bid to recapture large swathes of the city, where fighting began in mid-2012.

In recent months, the army has seized parts of the province from rebels, including the area around Aleppo airport, which was closed for nearly a year because of fighting nearby.

The airport was reopened to air traffic last month.

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