Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake,' US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warship to Russia

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    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

COMMENT(S)