Airstrike on mosque near Aleppo leaves 42 dead, mostly civilians

Published March 17th, 2017 - 08:00 GMT
Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, dig through the rubble of a mosque following an airstrike on a mosque in the village of Al-Jineh near Aleppo late on March 16, 2017. (AFP/Omar Haj Kadour)
Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, dig through the rubble of a mosque following an airstrike on a mosque in the village of Al-Jineh near Aleppo late on March 16, 2017. (AFP/Omar Haj Kadour)

At least 42 people died after planes attacked a mosque in the western countryside of Aleppo, Syria, late Thursday, activists and a monitoring group said.

"The planes, whose identity is not known yet, targeted a mosque during night prayer in the village of al Jinneh, south-west of Atrab," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told dpa.  

Most of the dead are civilians, he added.

"Many people are still trapped under rubble and we believe the number of casualties will increase," Abdel Rahman said. Local activists said 300 people were inside the mosque at the time of the raid.

The Idlib Press Center, which is run by activists, said at least 50 people were killed.

Activists posted pictures of bodies scattered on the floor near the mosque.

Rescue teams with the White Helmets organization posted pictures of people being pushed into ambulances and panic-striken residents searching among the rubble for survivors.

Shortly before the raid took place on the mosque, raids targeted several areas in the western countryside of Aleppo - mainly Atrab, Sheikh Ali and Abeen.

Many of the civilians who left eastern Aleppo after the regime took control of area are currently living as refugees in areas in countryside west of the city.

Earlier on Thursday, an al-Qaeda-linked alliance denied it was behind two bombings that recently killed at least 43 people and injured more than 100 in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The self-styled Levant Liberation Body, led by al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, denied any connection with the suicide attacks that targeted a court complex and a restaurant in two different areas in Damascus on Wednesday. 

In its rare denial, the bloc said in an online statement that its targets "are limited to security branches of the criminal regime and its allies."

Last week, the radical Sunni group had claimed responsibility for another twin-bombing attack that hit a religious site frequented by Shias in Damascus.

Some 74 people, including 20 regime security personnel, were killed in the March 11 attack.

Last month, the same alliance took credit for a string of synchronized attacks that targeted government security buildings in Homs in central Syria. Forty-two security personnel were killed in those attacks.

Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and Daesh are excluded from a Russian-Turkish brokered ceasefire that took effect in Syria in late December.

By Weedah Hamzah

© 2021 dpa GmbH

You may also like