Middle East

Dawn missile attack kills Syrian family: activists

Residents look at the damages in Karm al-Tarab neighborhood in Aleppo January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman

BEIRUT: Five members of one family – a couple and three children – were killed when a missile hit their village in Syria's northern province of Aleppo before dawn on Wednesday, activists said.

The Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists on the ground, gave a higher toll of six members of the Hazrouni family killed in the strike on the village of Albu Taltal near the town of Al-Bab.

In a video released by activists, the bodies of the three children aged seven, nine and 11, a boy and two small girls, can be seen lying on blankets on a hospital bed.

Their brightly coloured clothes are stained with blood and their faces are turned away from the camera.

The authenticity of the footage could not be immediately verified.

In Syria's second city Aleppo, several mortar rounds hit the districts of Aqwil in the centre and Marjeh in the south, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without reporting casualties.

The death of the family members came after fierce fighting overnight on the outskirts of Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus as the sound of shelling rumbled across the area, the watchdog said.

On the outskirts of the capital, loyalist troops bombed the town of Douma to the northeast as clashes erupted around a military vehicle depot between the nearby towns of Irbin and Harasta.

In the largely rebel-held northwest province of Idlib, insurgents battled troops at military checkpoints around the provincial capital, which remains under government control.

While the rebels have made advances and are acting more boldly, the army maintains overall cohesion after 22 months of conflict and is still able to defend the country's major cities.

The Observatory relies on a nationwide network of activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals to compile its tolls. It said 123 people were killed on Tuesday: 62 civilians, 27 troops, 32 rebels and two Kurdish fighters.

Among the dead were 15 children.





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