MSF says death toll of attack on Syrian Douma rises to 70

Death toll rises to 70 after airstrike by Syrian regime warplans targeted busy market in opposition-held Damascus suburb of Douma, says MFS

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Men react as they carry the remains of dead people at a damaged site hit by missiles fired by Syrian government forces on a busy marketplace in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria October 30, 2015

Updated Nov 1, 2015

The death toll of civilians killed by the Syrian regime warplanes which carried out attacks on a busy market in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Friday rises to 70 while at least 550 were wounded, said Doctors Without Borders (MFS) on Sunday.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which depends on a network of on the ground activists for its information, announced the death toll of 59 including five children. 

Douma, located east of the Syrian capital, has been an opposition stronghold throughout the conflict which started four-and-a-half years ago in the context of the Arab Spring revolutions that swept the Middle East and North Africa.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, a local civil defence officer said the attack by the regime marks the second time the market had been targeted.

"There are only civilians here - no army and no opposition forces. Residents do not permit any armed person in this area,” he said.

"This market is at the heart of Douma and supplies everyone here. Lots of farmers come here every morning to sell their items. The market was intentionally targeted."

According to another activist, who wish to remain anonymous, Douma has been under constant attack all morning.

"Every 10 minutes we are under attack. Rocket attacks and air strikes. They bombed a local market, at least 45 people have been killed so far and we expect a rising death toll," the activist said speaking immediately after the raid. "Every corner of Douma is being bombed."

The UK-based SOHR reported that at least 12 guided missiles had been fired on the area.

An estimated 250,000 people have been killed in the ongoing war in Syria, with most casualties occurring due to barrel bombs dropped indiscriminately on civilian areas from regime helicopters.

All together, around 12 million Syrians, amounting to half the country’s population, have been displaced from their homes.

While an estimated 6.7 million remain displaced internally, an estimated 5 million have fled to neighbouring countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

Many have dared to make the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean from departure point in Libya and Turkey’s western coast in a bid to enter European Union countries.

Around half a million refugees, mostly Syrians, have entered Europe this year, causing the worst refugee crisis experienced in Europe since World War II.

TRTWorld and agencies