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Syria

Syria airstrikes kill dozens in Aleppo in eighth day of bombardment

Syrian government aircraft have dropped so-called barrel bombs on rebel positions in Aleppo for the eighth day, killing dozens of people. Elsewhere, further airstrikes and a suicide blast have caused more deaths.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 42 people were killed in Sunday's attacks in Aleppo. Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said the death toll could rise because 17 of the wounded were in critical condition.

"They hit a convoy of cars on a road in Hanano, many cars were destroyed. There were civilians there," Abdurrahman added.

"The medics say they are removing people in parts; they aren't sure how many there are," said Hassoun Abu Faisal, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center. He said the bombs hit vehicles lining a main road, destroyed a two-story building and left a crater in a market place.

The aerial bombardment of rebel areas in the northern city of Aleppo began on December 15. More than 200 people have been killed in the strikes and many residential buildings have been destroyed. The city's hospitals have been hard pressed to cope with casualties.

The barrel bombs dropped from helicopters are barrels filled with explosives and fuel that cause widespread damage on impact.

Syrian officials have not commented on the air raids.

Attack on school

In central Syria, a suicide bomber exploded a device near a primary school in the predominantly Shiite town of Umm al-Amed in Homs province. At least 12 people, half of them children, were killed according to the Observatory.

Syrian state media said eight people were killed and 34 were wounded in the attack, most of them children.

Border airstrike

There were also reports on Sunday that Syrian military aircraft bombed Bab al-Hawa, a border crossing to Turkey. According to Turkish media reports and local activists, the bombs hit the Syrian side of the crossing. Casualty numbers were not immediately clear. It is also not known why the area was targeted.

jm/ccp (Reuters, AP, AFP)