Middle East

Syrian army missile kills 23, including 8 kids

File - Syrians search for survivors under the rubble of houses as regime forces shell the town of Marea between Aleppo and the Turkish border.

BEIRUT: A missile crashed into a rebel-held Syrian town while most people were at home sleeping, killing at least 23 people, including an entire family, activists said Tuesday.

The attack on northern town of Marea occurred late Monday, said a local activist who uses the name Abu al-Hassan. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack.

Those killed included an entire family composed of Mohammed Jafar, 70, his 40-year-old wife and their eight children. Abu al-Hassan said the Jafar's first wife died years ago, and he married for a second time. He said the marriage gave the retired radiator repair man a new lease on life: he decided to enroll in high school, and graduated when he was about 60, Abu al-Hassan said.

"He wanted to go to university but his grades weren't very good," according to al-Hassan, who said he used to attend annual exams with the man.

Abu Al-Hassan said he wasn't aware of any fighting in the area. He said the nearest front was 15 miles away (25 kilometers) in the area of Bureij.

Rights groups and local activists say Syrian military forces often indiscriminately strike rebel-held areas with projectiles that can't be targeted properly, overwhelmingly killing civilians.





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