Middle East

Five children among 12 killed in Syria air strike: activists

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in Binsh near Idlib September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Shaam News Network/Handout

BEIRUT: A military air strike on the town of Salqeen in Syria's mostly rebel-held province of Idlib on Monday killed 12 people, including five children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

"Twelve civilians, including five children, were killed in bombing on the town of Salqeen and the number is expected to rise because many are in critical condition," the Britain-based watchdog said, citing an activist and a medical source.

"This was a single air strike that hit several buildings. We expect the number of dead to increase because 30 people were living in this area, some of whom are critically wounded and others are buried under the rubble," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

In a video released by activists from Salqeen, which could not immediately be verified, a number of the victims are seen piled in the back of a pick-up truck, their bodies charred black with limbs torn off.

"My God, my son is dead," a man wails as he looks on at the bloody disfigured corpses, finally putting his hand over his eyes.

According to Abdel Rahman, among the dead are three children from the same family.

Salqeen lies about five kilometres (three miles) from the Turkish border.

"Turkish ambulances are waiting at the Bab al-Hawa crossing for the wounded, as there are no decent hospitals on the Syrian side," Abdel Rahman said.

He said that regime forces had tried to enter the town in the morning but they were pushed back by rebel fighters. The air strike followed soon afterwards.





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