Airstrikes near Syrian capital kills 17 civilians

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Beirut: Regime and Russian air strikes on a rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday, a war monitor said. Eastern Ghouta, one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country, is the target of near-daily air raids.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday's deadliest strikes had hit the Hammuriyeh district, killing 12 civilians including four children. An AFP reporter in Hammuriyeh saw residential buildings with their facades blown open, collapsing into streets strewn with rubble.

Residents including members of the White Helmets rescue group rushed to rescue the wounded. Running past a burning car, one man held a crying boy in his arms, while another carried the apparently lifeless body of a child through the streets.

"I was with other people when a projectile fell nearby," said 33-year-old Mustafa Abu Badr, who was slightly wounded in the head. "The blast threw me five metres (yards). There were seven wounded and one dead," he said.

Middle East