At least 30 dead in airstrikes on Syrian hospital, activists say

A series of airstrikes on a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has left at least 30 people dead, a local volunteer said Thursday.

"We have 30 bodies: 22 identified and eight others whose names are not known yet," Abdel-Rahman, a member of the non-governmental group the White Helmet Civil Defence told dpa by phone.

He said the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are pulled from the rubble of the al-Qudos hospital in the rebel-held al-Sukari neighbourhood.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 27 civilians were killed in the bombardment, including three children and Wassim Mouaz, the last pediatrician in the district.

The hospital is now out of service after suffering 14 strikes late Wednesday, the Observatory's head Rami Abdel-Rahman said.

The identity of the warplanes that carried out the strikes was not immediately known.

The opposition accused pro-government Russian jets of involvement.

"We have information that the strikes were mounted by the Russian aircraft on the hospital," George Sabra, a member of the Western-backed main opposition grouping, the Higher Committee for Negotiation, told dpa from Paris. 

The aid group Doctors Without Borders said that at least 14 patients and staff were among the dead. Eight doctors and 28 nurses worked at the hospital, it said.

The group, also known as MSF, condemned the attack, saying it deprives people from "essential healthcare."

The International Committee of the Red Cross meanwhile warned that intense fighting in Aleppo are putting "millions at grave risk" there.

Aleppo, Syria's pre-war commercial hub, is divided between a government-held western sector and the rebel-held east.

In recent months, regime military advances, backed by Russian airstrikes, have put the east - already devastated by years of shelling and air raids - at risk of siege.

On Thursday, international mediator Staffan de Mistura called on the United States and Russia to urgently help salvage a major truce in Syria and UN-sponsored talks aimed at ending the country's war.

The US-Russian-brokered ceasefire went into effect in February. But a surge in violence in recent weeks has left the truce in tatters.

Last update: Thu, 28/04/2016 - 14:10

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