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Syrian forces hit mosque with crude bomb, kill 11

BEIRUT — Men pull a girl from the rubble and haul her onto a dirty sheet of plastic, while another child, coated in white dust save for a red streak of blood from his nose, lies with his crushed leg dangling off a gurney — the grisly aftermath from the dropping of a crude "barrel bomb" by Syrian forces on the city of Aleppo.

The bombing — one of at least seven such attacks in Aleppo on Tuesday — struck a mosque that was being used as a school, killing at least 11 people, activists said. A video supplied by activists contained scenes of the carnage.

It was the latest example of the heightened use of barrel bombs, devices packed with fuel, explosives and scrap metal that are hurled from helicopters, often indiscriminately.

Since Thursday, around 80 people have been killed by barrel bombs used by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces to try to dislodge rebels from Aleppo, according to figures provided by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground.

The video uploaded from the rebel-held Masaken Hanano district showed the aftermath of the explosion at or near the Uthman Bin Affan mosque, where adults were teaching children the Quran, said activist Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Center.

The video, excerpts of which are at http://apne.ws/1c0t9yt , was consistent with what reporting by The Associated Press found.

A cameraman films from inside a vehicle as it speeds toward a place where dust is drifting into a clear blue sky. The camera swivels to men and boys running around a building that has been torn in half by an explosion.

"Are there martyrs?" the narrator asks. His camera focuses on a lump of red flesh in a vehicle.

It is the beginning of a grim litany of death, as seen from the jerking camera.

A child, his legs missing, lies on the ground, partially covered by a blanket.

"Are there anybody's children here?" cries one man.

"Bashar, you lowlife!" cries another, referring to the Syrian ruler, raising his hands angrily to the sky. Another man shakes a blackened body inside a vehicle.

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, residents of the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp wait to leave the camp, on the southern edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 4.

(AP)

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