30 killed in air strike on refugee camp near Idlib

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Themorningbellbd.com desk, May 6: An air strike on a camp for internally displaced Syrians near the country’s border with Turkey has killed at least 30 people, activists said.

The attack on the camp in Idlib province on Thursday also left dozens of others injured, with a number of those killed children, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Observatory said the dead included women and children and the death toll from the air strikes was likely to rise.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, said activists were split on whether Russian or Syrian planes were behind the attack.

“Many in the opposition believe that with strikes like this there’s proof the government is not serious about the cessation of hostilities,” Khodr said.

“These people (internally displaced) live close to the Turkish border in search of safety…they think that the closer they are to the border, the safer they are.”

Video of the incident posted on social media showed tents on fire and victims buried underneath debris as rescuers tried to put out flames.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, called for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into the air strikes, which, if found to be deliberate, could amount to a war crime.

“All parties to this appalling conflict should understand that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”.

Aleppo onslaught: New ceasefire announced

He said that initial reports indicate that at least 30 people were killed, and over 80 injured, among them many women and children, while dozens of tents were destroyed or badly damaged.

Idlib is not part of the partial ceasefire that was announced yesterday after an agreement between the US and Russia.

Aleppo bombardment

The attack is the latest deadly strike on civilians in Syria, with much of the recent focus on the divided city of Aleppo where nearly 300 people were killed in nearly two weeks of air strikes and shelling.

Fighting has calmed in the area after the US-brokered cessation of hostilities but violations of the agreement were reported on Thursday .

Syria’s government has been at war with rebels after it violently put down an initially peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad five years ago.

An estimated 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN, with millions more diplaced internally and in neighbouring states.

The crisis has also given rise to the European refugee crisis, as Syrians joins hundreds of thousands of others in seeking refuge on the continent.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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