Aleppo air strike kills 14 members of one family: rescue team

October 17, 2016 5:13 AM EDT

People inspect a damaged site after an air strike Sunday in the rebel-held besieged al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Fourteen members of one family were killed in an air strike in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Monday, emergency service workers said, as the Syrian government pursued its drive to capture opposition-held areas of the city.

A list of those killed in the city, published by the Civil Defence, included several infants, among them two six-week old babies and six other children aged eight or below.

The Civil Defence, a rescue service operating in rebel-held areas of Syria whose workers are known as "White Helmets", identified the jets as Russian. The attack hit Aleppo's al-Marjeh area.

Later in the day, separate air strikes on the village of Awaijel west of Aleppo killed at least 23 people and the toll was expected to rise, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported.

The Syrian government's Moscow-backed campaign has killed several hundred people since it started last month after the collapse of a truce brokered by Russia and the United States.

The Observatory said it had documented the deaths of 448 people in air strikes in eastern Aleppo since then, including 82 children. The Syrian and Russian armed forces say they only target militants.

Since the campaign was announced on Sept. 22, the government has captured territory from rebels to the north of Aleppo and reported advances in the city itself. Rebels have in turn said they have mostly repelled those reported advances in the city.

A Syrian military source said the army had targeted terrorists in three areas of Aleppo on Monday, killing seven of them. The government refers to all rebel fighters as terrorists.

The Observatory said 17 more people were killed in attacks by Russian jets on Sunday night in the al-Qarterji district of rebel-held Aleppo. That included five children, it said.

The monitoring group also said it had recorded the deaths of 82 people including 17 children in government-held areas of western Aleppo as a result of rebel shelling.

(Reporting by Tom Perry and Ellen Francis; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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