UN calls for ceasefire as Ghouta bombing continues

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By Tokunbo Salako  with Reuters
A medic walks through the rubble of a bombed clinic
A medic walks through the rubble of a bombed clinic

The United Nations has renewed its plea for a ceasefire in Syria to halt one of the fiercest air attacks of the seven year war.

Russian and Syrian fighter jets have reportedly pounded Ghouta, the last rebel enclave near the Syrian capital for a fifth straight day.

According to aid agencies more than 300 people have been killed in the rural eastern district since Sunday night.

Syria and Russia say their assault is necessary to defeat rebel fighters. But human rights groups have accused them of purposefully hitting civilian targets such as marketplaces and medical centres.

The UN Secretary General describes Ghouta as "hell on Earth"

International attention is now focused on the humanitarian plight in the eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been under siege since 2013.

After government gains in recent years it is the final rebel bastion near the capital.