100 killed and hundreds injured by Syrian air strikes in Douma
At least 96 people were killed in Syrian regime air raids Sunday on a town outside Damascus, a monitor said, as the UN's top humanitarian chief held talks with government officials.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said at least 200 people were also injured in a string of 10 strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma.
Civilians accounted for most of those killed, it said, and the death toll was expected to rise further because many of the wounded were in serious condition.
On Monday the Observatory stated the latest figures from the death toll.
"The toll documented by the Observatory has risen to 96 people, including at least two women and four children," the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said locals had gathered after a first strike hit a market in the town to help evacuate the wounded when the additional raids hit.
At least six raids hit the market, with the others striking nearby in the centre of town, Abdel Rahman said.
Abdel Rahman said locals had gathered at the site after the first strike to help evacuate the wounded when more raids struck.
The Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of anti-regime activists, said overnight that at least 105 people had been killed in Douma, which lies in the opposition bastion of Eastern Ghouta.
The devastating attack on Douma came as UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien made his first trip to Syria since taking the top aid post in May.
O’Brien held talks with Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Muallem, in Damascus on Sunday. According to Syrian state agency SANA, O’Brien said he was ready to work with the Syrian government to alleviate humanitarian suffering in the country.
The UN chief is to appear at a press conference in Damascus the following day.
A video posted online by activists of the aftermath of the attacks in Douma showed an intersection strewn with rubble and twisted metal.
Several buildings appeared to have their fronts almost sheared off by the force of the blasts, and many vehicles were overturned and crumpled amid the rubble.
Douma lies in the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, a region outside the capital that is a regular target of government air strikes.
Earlier this week, Amnesty International accused the government of war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, saying heavy aerial bombardment was compounding misery created by a regime blockade on the area.
Rebels also regularly fire on the capital from the region, attacks that Amnesty also described as war crimes because of their indiscriminate nature