500 killed in South Sudan clashes, UN diplomats told

Up to 500 people have been reportedly killed in clashes between rival South Sudan army factions in past three days, as per BBC reports.

Updated: Dec 18, 2013, 06:26 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Damascus: Up to 500 people have been reportedly killed in clashes between rival South Sudan army factions in past three days, as per BBC reports.

Syrian aircraft pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo for a third day on Tuesday, with hospitals reportedly overwhelmed as more than 100 people have been killed in the bombing.

However according to a BBC report, United Nations diplomats said that they have been told by unconfirmed sources that the Aleepo bombing has claimed about 400-500 lives.

As the violence raged, Britain accused the Syrian regime of effectively murdering a British surgeon it had jailed after seizing him in Aleppo, where he had volunteered to work at a hospital.

Two children were among at least 20 people killed in Aleppo yesterday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that relies on activists and other witnesses in Syria.

Air strikes on rebel-held areas Sunday and Monday killed 86 people, including 32 children, the Observatory said.

Aleppo, Syria`s second city and onetime commercial hub, emerged as a key front after a rebel offensive last year. The northern city is today split between regime and rebel-controlled enclaves.

An estimated 126,000 people have been killed in Syria`s civil war, which erupted after a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests first held in March 2011.

International humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) corroborated reports that regime helicopters started dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo on Sunday.

In just two cases -- the targeting of a school and a roundabout where people wait for public transport -- "there were dozens of dead and injured people," MSF Syria coordinator Aitor Zabalgogeazkoa said.