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8 White Helmets Rescuers Killed in Syrian Airstrike

  • VOA News

FILE - White Helmets rescuers work the site of airstrikes in the al-Sakhour neighborhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria, Sept. 21, 2016.

Eight Syrian rescuers, known as the White Helmets, were killed Saturday when an airstrike hit their office in rebel-held Hama province, according to the group and opposition activists.

The group’s office in Kfar Zeita was hit in the strike, killing the eight volunteers. The group said five bodies had been found and rescuers were continuing to search for others.

It was unclear late Saturday who had carried out the attack. The Syrian army, backed by Russia and Iran in the six-year-old war, has been making a push in recent weeks to regain rebel-held areas such as Hama province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Hama province came under intense aerial attack Saturday.

The White Helmets have garnered worldwide attention for their volunteer work in war conditions, pulling survivors out of areas that have been bombed. The rescuers are often targeted by government airstrikes known as “double tap” attacks: As the rescuers rush in to find survivors, the area is hit by bombs again.

A documentary about the group was nominated for an Oscar and won in the category of Documentary (Short Subject) in January.

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