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"Aleppo is worse than a slaughterhouse" - Ban Ki-moon

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
"Aleppo is worse than a slaughterhouse" - Ban Ki-moon

Warplanes, thought to be Russian or Syrian, knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday.

The air strikes came as ground forces intensified their assault on the city.

Strike targets bread queue

Two patients died in one of the hospitals.

Six residents died in shelling as they queued for bread.

The week-old assault has already killed hundreds of people.

Only 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of patients a day.

An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in Aleppo with food supplies running dangerously low.

“Rubble fell in on the patients in the intensive care unit.”

“The warplane flew over us and directly started dropping its missiles, at around 4am,” said Mohammad Abu Rajab, a radiologist at the M10 hospital.

“Rubble fell in on the patients in the intensive care unit.”

Medical staff say oxygen and power generators were destroyed. Patients were transferred to another hospital.

“This comes at a time when east Aleppo has been under siege since July and is suffering the bloodiest indiscriminate bombing since the beginning of the war,” said Carlos Francisco, the head of Medecins Sans Frontieres in Syria.

The World Health Organisation says it has reports that both hospitals were put out of service.

Why is Aleppo being targeted?

The government of President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi’ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, has launched a massive assault on Aleppo.

It is the opposition’s last major urban stronghold.

Syria’s largest city before the war, Aleppo has been divided for years between government and rebel zones.

It would be the biggest strategic prize of the war for Assad and his allies.

Taking full control of Aleppo would restore almost-total government rule over one of the most important cities of western Syria.

“Even a slaughterhouse is more humane” -Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says those using “ever-more destructive weapons in Syria” are committing war crimes.

He described the situation in Aleppo as “worse than a slaughterhouse.”

“Imagine the destruction – people with limbs blown off, children in terrible pain with no relief, infected, suffering, dying, with nowhere to go, and no end in sight.”

“Imagine a slaughterhouse. This is worse. Even a slaughterhouse is more humane,” Ban told a UN Security Council meeting.

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