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25 killed in Syria landslide

By THANAA IMAM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- At least 25 people were killed, 23 wounded and 55 believed buried under the rubble when a number of old houses collapsed Wednesday because of a landslide in northern Syria, officials said.

The official Syrian News Agency said the houses collapsed at dawn in the neighborhood of Kallasa in the city of Aleppo, 224 miles north of Damascus.

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Aleppo Gov. Oussama Uday rushed to the site to supervise rescue operations.

An official source said the death toll could exceed 30 as at least five of the wounded were in critical condition. Six houses and a three-story building collapsed.

Experts said the houses had been constructed randomly without official permission and proper foundations. They said most of the old houses in Aleppo were under threat of collapse since they were built in an area full of old caves.

Security forces, relief workers and many Aleppo residents were taking part in the rescue operations.

A ministerial committee was trying to find shelter for the homeless.

Last June, nearly 20 people were killed and some 300 houses were destroyed when a dam broke and water swept away the village of Zayzoun in northwestern Syria.

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