Middle East

U.N. condemns bombing near Syria school that killed 18

Local Palestinians gather around al-Rijeh square at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, south of Damascus, February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA on Wednesday condemned a bomb attack near a school it operates in southern Syria that killed 18 people, including five children.

UNRWA commissioner-general Filippo Grandi said he was "shocked and outraged" by the deaths in Muzeirib, in Daraa province.

The agency said 18 people were killed, including five children, and 20 others wounded in the attack, including two children who lost limbs.

"I must express my revulsion at this wanton disregard for civilian life and international law," Grandi added in a statement.

"All parties to the conflict are obliged to ensure that civilians and UN installations are protected."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based NGO, said the deaths were caused by an explosive-packed barrel bomb dropped by regime forces near the school.

It put the death toll in the incident at 19.

There are 540,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria, many of them displaced by the conflict that began in the country in March 2011.





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