Two hospitals in Syria's Aleppo hit, aid groups say

Two out of the eight remaining hospitals in besieged eastern Aleppo were put out of action by shelling and airstrikes on Wednesday, the Syrian medical charity running them has said.

The underground hospitals - codenamed M2 and M10 - included two of the rebel-held area's five trauma and emergency care facilities, Adham Sahloul, an official with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), told dpa.

International medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF), which also supported the two facilities, said all eight remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been damaged by bombing since Syrian government forces first placed the area under siege in July.

Analysts and human rights groups have previously accused President Bashar al-Assad's government and its ally, Russia, of deliberately targeting medical facilities as a strategy ahead of ground offensives.

Sahloul told dpa that the two hospitals took direct hits in shelling and an airstrike.

"M10 was the largest facility. It has lost its ventilator and electricity generator in the shelling," he added.

"By this you have sentenced people to death," he warned.

Sahloul did not have any figures for casualties from the two hospitals, but a rescue organization that works in rebel-held areas said three people accompanying patients were killed.

Three medical staff were also injured, Ibrahim al-Hajj of the White Helmets rescue service said.

Another 11 people were killed in shelling that hit a bread queue, al-Hajj said, warning that his organization was increasingly unable to reach victims by ambulance due to fuel shortages and debris from bombings on the streets.

"The people of eastern Aleppo have one wish now to die immediately, and not get wounded and die from bleeding on a hospital floor," said Abu al-Izz, another doctor from SAMS who until recently was based in Aleppo.

MSF wrote on Twitter that "wounded and sick people should be evacuated out of east #Aleppo. Instead, they are trapped there to die."

An estimated 300,000 people in eastern Aleppo are under siege, with residents reporting declining supplies of basic goods, including food, electricity and medicine. Water supplies have also been badly damaged.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for humanitarian routes to be established in order to evacuate sick and wounded Syrians from eastern Aleppo.

More than 200 people were taken to hospitals in the city's east last weekend, but there remain only around 35 doctors to treat them, the WHO said in a statement.

Airstrikes by the Syrian government and Russia have killed more than 262 people in eastern Aleppo, including 42 children, since September 19, when a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia collapsed, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Last update: Wed, 28/09/2016 - 18:08

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