Syrian insurgents shell government-held rural area, kill 12

By The Associated Press | Updated - Jun 17th, 2019 @ 9:09am | Posted - Jun 17th, 2019 @ 2:44am


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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian insurgents fired rockets into residential parts of the government-held northern province of Aleppo, striking a wedding party and killing at least 12 civilians and wounding 15, state media said Monday.

The attack late Sunday took place in the village of Wadehi, south of Aleppo city, which abuts the last rebel-held enclave.

Syria's state TV Al-Ikhbariya said children were among those killed and some of the wounded were in critical conditions. The TV said more rockets landed as people tried to escape from the scene of the attack.

One woman told the TV that a missile landed in a room where four girls were, killing them. Another girl said her two sisters and one brother were killed in the strike.

A doctor speaking to the TV station said three of the wounded were in critical condition. Images from inside an Aleppo hospital broadcast on al-Ikhbariya TV show men and children lying on stretchers, some with their heads bandaged, while others have what appears to be abdomen wounds.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported fatalities, saying four children were killed in the attack.

Al-Ikhbariya TV said the military responded to the source of fire, areas controlled by insurgents in the nearby rebel stronghold.

Fighting has raged over the last seven weeks in northwestern Syria as government forces press an offensive toward the last rebel stronghold in the country's eight-year civil war.

The violence has displaced hundreds of thousands inside the rebel enclave, which is home to 3 million people, most of them already displaced from earlier violence in Syria. At least 300 civilians were killed in government bombings, and over two dozen health facilities were put out of service following airstrikes.

Separately, in eastern Syria's town of Qamishli, a car bomb went off near the headquarters of the Kurdish security forces, leaving several people injured. Qamishli is run by Kurdish-led administrators and forces, but Syrian government troops hold pockets of territory there, including the airport.

The area has largely been spared much of the violence that has wrecked Syria. But attacks, mostly blamed on Islamic State militants, have occurred recently in areas in eastern Syria after the extremists were kicked out of their last territorial enclave in Syria earlier this year.

In a video by the Kurdish news agency Hawar, the explosion appeared to have damaged a number of cars nearby. Then authorities lifted the mangled car bomb from the area.

The Observatory said seven were injured when a suicide bomber detonated the car bomb after failing to drive into the Kurdish security forces headquarters.

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