One week after Syrian government airstrikes killed at least 111 people at a crowded marketplace in the city of Douma, regime forces once again pummeled the Damascus suburb with bombs and missiles on Saturday, killing dozens, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group.
The death toll in the latest attack remains unclear. Douma residents and officials said the number of casualties would likely climb as rescuers searched piles of rubble for survivors and victims.
SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that at least 34 people were killed in the airstrikes. "Overnight, they found more victims underneath the rubble, and others who were wounded died," he said.
Reuters reported that more than 50 people were killed in the attack.
"There are entire families still under the rubble," Majd, an official from the Syrian Civil Defense Corps, a rescue group that operates in rebel-held areas, told Reuters. "We couldn't reach them yet, because as you know the process of removing debris must be done with extreme caution."
The SOHR said ground-to-ground missiles may have also been used in the attack to level buildings.
Video from the scene on Saturday shows buildings completely devastated, with walls blown out and heavy debris lining the streets. Groups of rescuers were also filmed looking for victims trapped in the rubble.
Forces from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have repeatedly attacked Douma, which is located about 13 miles northeast of the Syrian capital. Armed opposition groups based there have targeted Damascus with shelling and rocket fire.
In addition to Douma, the nearby town of Arbin was also reportedly hit by airstrikes on Saturday that left residents injured. Video footage from Arbin, located about halfway between Douma and Damascus, shows smoke and dust rising from the city as security forces rush in to help, and civilians flee the area.
Syria's civil war has dragged on for five years, killing an estimated 220,000 people and displacing 3.9 million others.
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