Several children were among scores killed in an air strike near the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to reports.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead, including seven children, were killed by government air artillery strikes in eastern Ghouta district over the weekend, the Associated Press reported.
That report gave the death toll as 34, whileReuters — citing opposition activists — said at least 36 were killed, including 14 children.
Agence France-Presse quotedAbdel Rahman as saying:
“The children were aged between six months and nine years old.”
Five women were also killed in the strike, he reportedly said.
The Observatory said yesterday’s bombardment was one of the heaviest of the 22-month-old conflict.
According to Reuters, video footage emerged purporting to show women weeping over the dismembered bodies of children in a field near the town of Muleiha, 3 miles east of the capital.
Syria’s army has reportedly been moving to take back key rebel-held territory in towns near Damascus in recent weeks.
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The rebels overran a military base near Damascus two months ago, coming close to the main international airport, and Muleiha reportedly has an air defense base, but Reuters did not specify if they were the same.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists, as well as doctors and lawyers inside Syria, has estimated that more than 3,500 children have been killed in Syria’s 22-month conflict.
Citing UN figures, AFP reported that more than 60,000 people had been killed in Syria since the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.
This story was originally published by Global Post.