Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

i Gracias, Gabo i

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, South Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

Middle east

Civilians bearing brunt of violence in Aleppo, says NGO

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-23

Human rights group Amnesty International said Thursday that artillery shells and mortars launched by the Syrian army in the northern city of Aleppo are killing mostly civilians, including children. It also said summary executions were on the rise.

AFP - Syrian civilians are facing "horrific" violence as the battle for the commercial capital Aleppo rages, Amnesty International said Thursday, lashing out primarily at regime troops for launching indiscriminate attacks.

"The use of imprecise weapons, such as unguided bombs, artillery shells and mortars by government forces has dramatically increased the danger for civilians," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International Senior Crisis Response Adviser, who recently returned from Aleppo, said in a statement.

Amnesty said it investigated some 30 attacks during a recent visit to Aleppo by its team in which "scores of civilians not involved in hostilities, many of them children, were killed or injured" in their homes, while queuing for bread or in places where they had taken shelter.

It said that attacks often failed to distinguish between opposition fighters and civilian residents and appeared to be randomly directed at neighbourhoods which are under the de-facto control of opposition fighters, rather than at specific military objectives.

"Civilians face a daily barrage of air and artillery strikes by government forces in different parts of the city. For many there is simply nowhere safe and families live in fear of the next attack," said Rovera.

Some of the victims died in the very places where they had sought shelter, having been forced to flee their homes by the fighting, the statement said.

Amnesty said civilians were killed and injured while queuing for bread and cited an example of a 13-year-old girl, Kifa Samra and her 11-year-old brother Zakarya who were killed along with their neighbour, a mother of 11, on August 12 while queuing for bread near their home.

"Those responsible for indiscriminate attacks against civilians and other war crimes should expect that they will be held to account," said Rovera.

The overwhelming majority of victims were killed in air strikes and artillery attacks by government forces, while in some cases the source of the attack could not be established, the statement said.

Amnesty also said that a further deeply disturbing development was the sharp increase in extrajudicial and summary executions of civilians not involved in the conflict by government forces.

"Bodies of mostly young men, usually handcuffed and shot in the head, have been frequently found dumped near the headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence which is completely controlled by government forces," Amnesty said.

It also raised concerns about increased abuses, including unlawful killings and ill-treatment of captives by opposition fighters belonging to a plethora of armed opposition group, including the Free Syrian Army operating in the city.

"It is shameful that the international community remains divided over Syria, disregarding the body of evidence of the scale and the gravity of the human rights abuses in Syria and effectively looking the other way while civilians are bearing the brunt," it added.

More than 23,000 people have been killed since the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, according to Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Date created : 2012-08-23

  • FRANCE 24 EXCLUSIVE

    'Tlass, ex-PM Hijab have no place in future Syrian govt'

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Regime steps up attacks in Damascus and Aleppo

    Read more

  • LEBANON - SYRIA

    Syria crisis fuels further clashes in Lebanon

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)