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Airstrikes in Syria Leave at Least 32 Dead, Activists Say

  • Associated Press

An injured boy waits inside a field hospital after what activists said were airstrikes and shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, April 22, 2015.

An injured boy waits inside a field hospital after what activists said were airstrikes and shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, April 22, 2015.

Syrian government aircraft bombed rebel-held areas in the capital's suburbs and a northern town and surrounding villages controlled by the Islamic State group, including a strike on a local hospital, killing at least 32 people Wednesday, activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes on the hospital in Dayr Hafir and surrounding villages in the northern province of Aleppo killed at least 15 people, including medical staff, women and children, and wounded at least 40. The group said the casualty figures were likely to rise.

Activist Abu al-Hassan Marea, who is based near the town, told The Associated Press that the airstrikes on Dayr Hafir's hospital killed at least 21 people, mostly civilians and medics. The Aleppo Media Center activist group said the strike on the hospital killed 23, mostly civilians.

Marea and the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group that tracks the Syrian civil war, said another airstrike on a nearby village, also held by Islamic State fighters, killed seven people. The Observatory put the toll from that strike at six civilians.

The discrepancies in the casualty figures could not be immediately reconciled.

Aleppo, once Syria's commercial center, has been carved up into areas controlled by the government and others controlled by an array of rebels since an opposition offensive in mid-2012. Long a stronghold for Syrian rebels, the area, a strategic stretch because of its proximity to the Turkish border, has been a flash point since the Islamic State group advanced into the region several months ago.

Also Wednesday, the Observatory said government airstrikes killed at least 11 people, including two women, in rebel-held areas in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and wounded others. The Local Coordination Committees also said 11 people from the suburbs Harasta and Douma had been killed, including the two women.

The government repeatedly has targeted rebel strongholds in the capital's suburbs. The rebels have carried out mortar and rocket attacks that occasionally reach areas near the city center.

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