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Death toll rises in Syrian city of Aleppo as ceasefire breaks down

Syrian warplanes pounded the city of Aleppo for a ninth straight day on Saturday as United States Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet with world leaders in Geneva to revive a fledgling ceasefire between government forces and rebel groups.

Upwards of 20 airstrikes on Saturday targeted 10 neighborhoods in Aleppo, with 250 civilians killed since April 22 on both sides of the conflict, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, which monitors the atrocities that have enveloped the fractured nation since 2011.

At least 140 people linked to the rebels have been killed by the airstrikes and 19 children are among the dead, Reuters reports. Aleppo is home to rebels as well as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Despite the ceasefire that began on Feb. 27, SOHR said it documented 2,407 deaths over the last nine weeks, with some of the deaths possibly called by Russian warplanes.

A man reacts at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held area of al-Kalaseh neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 28, 2016. Photo By Abdalrhman Ismail via Reuters

A man reacts at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held area of al-Kalaseh neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 28, 2016. Photo By Abdalrhman Ismail via Reuters

“Out of the total human losses there are 465 fighters from the rebel and Islamic factions killed in the shelling and airstrikes by the regime forces and in the clashes against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, in addition to 682 civilian citizens, including 140 person under the age of 18,” SOHR said.

The airstrikes Saturday come a day after four medical facilities were attacked. Another hospital managed by Doctors Without Borders was damaged Thursday in a strike that killed 50 people.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday called for an immediate cessation to the “indiscriminate violence.”

“There can be no justification for these appalling acts of violence deliberately targeting hospitals and clinics, which are prohibited under International Humanitarian Law,” said Marianne Gasser, who leads the ICRC in Syria, in a statement. “People keep dying in these attacks. There is no safe place anymore in Aleppo. Even in hospitals.”

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