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Rights Group: Cluster Bomb Attack in Syria Kills 19

  • VOA News

A child looks at the tail fin of a Russian-made RBK bomb that crashed through a sidewalk in a densely populated neighborhood east of Aleppo’s city center, March 1, 2013.

A child looks at the tail fin of a Russian-made RBK bomb that crashed through a sidewalk in a densely populated neighborhood east of Aleppo’s city center, March 1, 2013.

A human rights group says 19 people were killed when Syrian warplanes dropped cluster bombs, which are banned under a U.N. treaty. Amnesty International said Saturday the attack Friday in the northern town of Aleppo wounded more than 60 people.

An Amnesty official on the scene reported that nine Soviet-made cluster bombs, each carrying up to 150 cluster submunitions, were dropped on a heavily populated area.

Cluster bombs can potentially kill many civilians. Syria is among the countries that have not signed a 2010 U.N. treaty banning their use.

Smoke rises over the Salah al-Din neighborhood in central Aleppo, Syria, March 2, 2013.

Smoke rises over the Salah al-Din neighborhood in central Aleppo, Syria, March 2, 2013.

In other news, Syrian activists said a fierce battle on the outskirts of the northern city of Raqa killed dozens of Syrian troops and rebel fighters. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday the clashes caused many people to flee.

Also Saturday, Syria and its ally, Iran, accused the United States of applying double standards for offering to provide aid to the rebels.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced $60 million in extra aid to the Syrian opposition and, for the first time, non-lethal aid to some of its rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

In Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met for talks with international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. The two later said in a statement the United Nations is willing to broker peace talks between Syria's government and the opposition.

Both men also expressed frustration at the failure of the international community to end the fighting in Syria. An estimated 70,000 people have died in the 23-month-long conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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