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Syrian forces hit mosque with crude bomb, kill 11

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

BEIRUT – Men pull a girl from the rubble and haul her onto a dirty sheet of plastic, while another child, coated in white dust except for a red streak of blood from his nose, lies with his crushed leg dangling off a gurney – the grisly aftermath from the dropping of a crude “barrel bomb” by Syrian forces on the city of Aleppo.

The bombing – one of at least seven such attacks in Aleppo on Tuesday – struck a mosque that was being used as a school, killing at least 11 people, activists said. A video supplied by activists contained scenes of the carnage.

It was the latest example of the heightened use of barrel bombs, devices packed with fuel, explosives and scrap metal that are hurled from helicopters, often indiscriminately.

Since Thursday, around 80 people have been killed by barrel bombs used by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces to try to dislodge rebels from Aleppo, according to figures provided by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground.

The video uploaded from the rebel-held Masaken Hanano district showed the aftermath of the explosion at or near the Uthman Bin Affan mosque, where adults were teaching children the Quran, said activist Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Center.

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