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Jan 23, 2015 10:26 AM

Activists: Syrian airstrike kills at least 32 near Damascus

The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) A Syrian government airstrike hit an opposition-held suburb of the capital shortly after Friday prayers, killing at least 32 people, scattering bodies and rubble in the streets and setting at least one building on fire, activists said.

An activist based near the capital who goes by the name of Abu Yazan said the air raid struck near a popular market in the town of Hamouriyeh just east of Damascus.

The Local Coordination Committees, an activist collective, said the strike hit people leaving a mosque, killing 35 people. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 32, but said the number is expected to rise because many people were seriously wounded.

Casualty figures often differ in Syria in the chaotic aftermath of an attack.

An amateur video posted online of the raid's aftermath showed two men carrying a lifeless body on a stretcher as others scamper across the rubble-strewn street looking for survivors. Thick, gray smoke hangs in the air. A fire rages in the shell of a building on the street corner. A boy screams over a puddle of blood on the pavement.

The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting of the events depicted.

Syria's crisis began with an uprising against President Bashar Assad, then turned into a civil war. So far, 220,000 people have been killed.


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