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MENAFN - Arab News - 14/02/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) BEIRUT: Syrian activists said 51 people, including 13 fighters, have been killed in a single day of government airstrikes and shelling of opposition-controlled districts of Aleppo

The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights says most of the victims died from airstrikes and barrel bomb dumped on eight fighter-held districts of the northern city on Wednesday. The rest died from artillery shelling and sniper fire

The Observatory has been documenting Syria’s conflict since its start in March 2011 through a network of activists on the ground

It released its report on the latest Aleppo casualties on Thursday, ahead of a trilateral meeting between US, Russian and UN official with Syrian government and opposition representatives in Geneva

The international mediators are trying to salvage the faltering peace negotiations

Also on Thursday, Western countries warned Syria over the fate of males detained during the evacuation from fighter-held areas of Homs city, as hopes rose that a humanitarian operation will resume

In Switzerland, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi was to meet representatives of the two co-sponsors on the so-called Geneva II peace talks, the United States and Russia

However, there were no direct meetings planned between the two sides in the deadly conflict on day four of the second round of the process

Speaking to AFP, Homs Gov. Talal Al-Barazi said: “Young men aged between 16 and 54 will be freed today,” though he did not specify how many will be set free

Barazi said 390 men of weapons-bearing age had been detained after being evacuated from fighter-held districts, during a humanitarian operation for Homs districts under siege since June 2012 that began last Friday

Barazi said 181 have already been freed, including 70 on Thursday

“They can go wherever they want, but not to Waar, which is a scene of fighting and where militants have taken up positions,” he said

But according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Homs activist Yazan, only a small number have been released

Most of the others are still holed up in Al-Andalus school, where the security services and the UN are present.


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