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Syria military denies bombing aid convoy: state media

By AFP 20 September 2016

Syria's army Tuesday denied bombing a convoy of aid trucks in the northern province of Aleppo the previous evening, an incident the UN said could amount to a war crime.

“There is no truth to media reports that the Syrian army targeted a convoy of humanitarian aid in Aleppo province,” state media said, citing a military source.

The denial came shortly after Moscow said neither Russian nor Syrian jets bombed the aid convoy, which was carrying assistance destined for tens of thousands of people in northern Syria.

At least 18 trucks in the 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed, according to the United Nations, which was carrying out the aid delivery alongside the Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent.

The Red Crescent said the raids killed around 20 people including one of its staff members.

“Much of the aid was destroyed,” the humanitarian organisation said, stressing that “the attack deprives thousands of civilians of much-needed food and medical assistance.”

Omar Barakat, who headed the SARC’s sub-branch on Orum where the attack took place, “succumbed to his injuries and died,” spokesman Benoit Carpentier told reporters in Geneva.

UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien said that if the attack was found to be a deliberate strike on humanitarians, “it would amount to a war crime”.

The raid came hours after Syria’s army declared an end to the week-long ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington.

bur/mjg/srm

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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