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Air strikes pound Syria's Aleppo as world leaders set for truce talks

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Aleppo was struck 14 times on Thursday. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)

Damascus, Syria Sep 22, 2016, 02.43 PM (IST)

Syria's Aleppo was heavily bombarded on Thursday, hours before world leaders scramble to broker another peace deal during the United Nations session in New York.

The multiple air strikes also sparked intense fighting between US-supported rebels and the Syrian government which is backed by Russia. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a body documenting human rights abuses in the war-torn country, said 14 bombs were dropped on rebel-held neighbourhoods of Bustan al-Qasr and Al-Kalasseh.

The Observatory said these were the "most intense strikes in months" on the two Aleppo districts, adding that seven people including three women and three children had died in the bombings.

There were many eyewitness accounts of the neighbour engulfed in a ball of fire.

Volunteer firefighters, who took hours to douse the fires, said the warplanes had dropped "incendiary phosporous bombs". 

The bombing and the violence between the rebels and Syrian government came some time before the US and Russia attempt to resume the ceasefire that broke down on Monday night.

A couple of days later, the US and Russia met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session but that only ended up with both sides blaming each other for breaching the fighting freeze.

US was guilty of bombing a Syrian army position while the ceasefire was operational, which incensed Moscow and the Bashar al-Assad government. Washington, however, maintained that it was an inadvertent attack. 

Forging another cessation of hostilities in Syria remains an uphill task, evident by US Secretary of State John Kerry's comment that it would be "difficult".

The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011 and has claimed over 300,000 lives. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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