Syrian youths cool themselves off in a water canal near Al-Hamarat village, 14 kilometers east of Raqqa, on July 6, 2017. / AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Syria's Raqqa once thrived on the banks of the gushing Euphrates River, but dire shortages in the Daesh (ISIS) stronghold are forcing desperate civilians to risk their lives for water.The northern city has been without steady running water for several weeks after damage to pipelines by heavy bombardment, including suspected strikes by the US-led coalition.Civilians who managed to escape Raqqa have also told AFP they came under Daesh sniper fire as they tried to fill up buckets from the Euphrates.That makes the current water shortages particularly painful, said activist collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS).According to RBSS, at least 27 people have been killed by coalition air strikes in recent weeks as they tried to reach the Euphrates or nearby wells for water.Those who manage to successfully draw water from the Euphrates also face health risks.
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