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24 'killed in Syria air raids'

At least 24 people have died after Syrian military helicopters dropped barrel bombs on a rebel-held neighbourhood in the northern city of Aleppo today, activists said.

Government aircraft have pounded districts under opposition control in the divided city for months with the makeshift bombs - huge canisters packed with explosives and shrapnel that cause massive damage on impact.

Activists say about 2,000 have been killed in such attacks in Aleppo this year alone.

Monday's air raids targeted the Sukkari neighborhood on the southern side of the city, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Centre said.

Observatory officials said at least 24 people were killed while the Aleppo Media Centre put the death toll at 30. Disparate figures are often common in the immediate aftermath of large attacks.

Both activist groups said scores of injured people were rushed to makeshift hospitals in the city.

The Aleppo Media Centre said the barrels struck near an area where aid was being distributed, which contributed to the large number of casualties.

The Observatory said the second barrel struck as people were trying to help the wounded from the initial bombing.

An amateur video posted online shows people running through a rubble-filled street as sirens wail. A thick white dust hangs in the air.

Four men carry a limp body out of a building in a red blanket. Nearby, a fruit stand with an umbrella and two plastic chairs sits undamaged.

Another video showed apartment buildings with their facades blown off.

The videos appear genuine and correspond to Associated Press reporting of the events depicted.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been carved up into rebel and government-controlled areas since opposition fighters launched an offensive in the country's north in mid-2012.


From Belfast Telegraph