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Monitoring group: 63 killed across Syria by Assad forces

A British-based monitoring group has said that at least 63 people were killed across Syria, many of which were children and women
A victim of a barrel bomb attack is being transported in the al-Ansari neighborhood of Aleppo 21 July

At least 63 people, including eleven children and six women, were killed in air and ground operations across Syria on Wednesday by forces of President Bashar al-Assad, a monitoring group said.

The London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights watchdog said that 63 people had been  killed on Wednesday, including 31 in Aleppo, 19 in Damascus suburbs, four in Idlib, Homs, Latakia and Hama.

In Douma, a rebel-held town near Damascus, 12 people were killed, among them a child.

"At least 12 people were killed, among them a child and a woman... in fierce shelling by Assad forces on several areas of Douma," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Several dozens more, including children, were wounded," said the Britain-based group, which relies on a broad network of activists, doctors and lawyers for its reports.

An AFP photographer in Douma said the shelling hit several parts of the town, among them a busy market area.

"The shelling came suddenly. One minute, children were playing in the market, the next, there were body parts and wounded people everywhere," Abd Doumany said.

The photographer also described graphic scenes at one of the town's ill-equipped field hospitals.

"The wounded were being treated on the floor," he said, adding that the hospital he visited reported 28 wounded children.

Some of the wounded lay next to pools of blood. Among the severely wounded were small children, he said.

Amateur video distributed by activists in Douma showed several visibly wounded babies and children, their clothes covered in blood, some of them lying on the ground of the crowded hospital.

Syrian official news agency SANA confirmed that Assad’s forces had killed militants in eastern Aleppo, Homs and central eastern Aleppo provinces.

Syria has been gripped by constant fighting since the Assad government launched a violent crackdown in response to anti-government protests in March 2011, triggering a conflict, which spiralled into civil war.

The UN has stopped updating its death toll for the country because an official count has become too difficult to verify. At least 100,000 deaths were recorded in the last official count in July 2013.

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