Deadly regime airstrikes hit hospital in Aleppo killing civilians
A wave of night time airstrikes hit a hospital in Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders and nearby buildings in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo, killing at least 27 people.
Six hospital staff and three children were also among the casualties.
The strikes, shortly before midnight Wednesday, hit the well-known al-Quds field hospital in the rebel-held district of Sukkari in Aleppo, according to opposition activists and rescue workers.
The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush blamed the government of President Bashar al-Assad for the deadly airstrikes.
The Civil Defence, a volunteer first-responders agency whose members went to the scene of the attack, put the death toll at 30 and said the dead included six hospital staff.
Among those slain was one of the last paediatricians remaining in opposition-held areas of the contested city and a dentist.
|Among those slain was one of the last paediatricians remaining in opposition-held areas of the contested city
The agency, also known as the White Helmets, said the al-Quds hospital and adjacent buildings were struck in four consecutive airstrikes.
It said there were still victims buried under the rubble and that the rescue work continued.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 27 were killed, including three children.
Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF, said in a series of tweets that at least 14 patients and staff were among those killed, with the toll expected to rise.
A video posted online by the White Helmets showed a number of lifeless bodies, including those of children, being pulled out from a building and loaded into ambulances amid screaming and wailing.
It also showed distraught rescue workers trying to keep onlookers away from the scene, apparently fearing more airstrikes.
|A video posted online by the White Helmets showed a number of lifeless bodies, including those of children, being pulled out from a building and loaded into ambulances amid screaming and wailing
Alloush, who was one of the leading negotiators of the opposition in the Geneva talks, described the airstrikes as one of the latest "war crimes" of Assad's government.
"Whoever carries out these massacres needs a war tribunal and a court of justice to be tried for his crimes. He does not need a negotiating table," Alloush said. "Now, the environment is not conducive for any political action."
In a separate incident, at least 11 people were killed and 35 wounded by al-Qaeda affiliate group, al-Nusra Front in western Aleppo, state news agency SANA reported.
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Following a lull in fighting after the ceasefire took effect on February 27, violence has intensified in recent days, with more than 100 civilians reported dead in airstrikes, shelling and rocket fire since Friday.
Once Syria's commercial hub, Aleppo has been divided between rebel control in the east and government forces in the west since 2012.
The fighting has put the ceasefire in jeopardy and overshadowed a new round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva that were entering a recess on Wednesday.
More than 270,000 people have been killed in Syria and millions been forced from their homes since the conflict erupted in 2011.
Agencies contributed to this report