Last updated: 23 January, 2015

Air strikes near Damascus kill 42, including 6 children

Government air strikes on a rebel-held village east of Damascus Friday killed 42 civilians, including six children, a monitoring group said, denouncing what it called a massacre.

“The number of people killed in air strikes on the village of Hammuriyeh has risen to 42, including six children,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Earlier, the Britain-based group had given a toll of 32 dead and denounced what it called a “massacre”.

According to the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a grassroots network of opponents, one of the strikes hit a square in Hammuriyeh where people had gathered for the weekly Muslim Friday prayer.

Syria’s air force began launching strikes against opposition-held areas in the summer of 2012, with rights groups blasting the regime for attacks they say fail to discriminate between civilian and military targets.

The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area, located east of Damascus, has been under a suffocating army siege for more than a year, leaving tens of thousands of civilians short of food and medical supplies.