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Rights group says Syrian shelling of hospital killed 10, injured 40

  |   Dec. 5, 2013 at 5:48 PM
LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The Syrian Network for Human Rights says it has documented an attack by Syrian forces on a hospital last month in a rebel-held area of the city of Homs.

Shelling on the Al-Walid Hospital on Nov. 18 killed at least 10 medical personnel and wounded about 40 other people, the human rights organization said in a report released Wednesday.

Pro-regime snipers located near the hospital also killed and wounded civilians who attempted to rescue hospital workers and patients from the rubble, the report added.

SNHR said the attack on the Homs hospital was part of "systematic and deliberate methodology" by Syria in targeting and destroying hospitals.

All of the destroyed hospitals, the report said, were located in areas under opposition control.

In addition to statements from witnesses, SNHR said opposition activists also provided videos and images documenting the attack.

The attack, conducted by surface-to-surface missiles, came after the neighborhood in which the hospital was located had been besieged by government troops and pro-regime forces for more than 38 days, preventing the hospital from received medical supplies, SNHR said.

A witness identified by the network as Abu Jihad said two mortar shells hit the hospital causing a huge explosion. A missile struck the hospital a few minutes later and destroyed one side of the hospital.

A resident known as Abo Bassam said the missile killed about 10 people, most of whom were recognizable as medical personnel only by remnants of clothing. Almost another 40 people were injured.

SNHR said it was able to document the killing of eight citizens, including a child and four medical workers, as well as injuries to nearly 40 other people.

The organization said the attack, in a populated area, violated international human rights law.

It called on the United Nations, Arab League and other international organizations to denounce the violations and pressure Syria and regime supporters to stop attacks on hospitals in rebel-held areas.

SNHR said the U.N. Security Council should issue a binding resolution calling for Syria to stop all human rights violations, especially against hospitals.

It also urged the International Commission of Inquiry to stop describing the conflict in Syria "as a conflict between two equal parties in crimes, power and centralized decision" making.

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