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Damascus churches bombed killing nine

02 February 2018


A damaged church roof in Bab Touma, on Monday of last week

A damaged church roof in Bab Touma, on Monday of last week

NINE civilians, including a three-year-old-child and a 17-year-old girl, were killed by mortars in a Christian district of Damascus on Monday of last week.

State media reports that 21 people were also wounded in the attack on Bab Touma. Last Friday, the head of UNICEF in Syria, Fran Equiza, questioned whether the world was “becoming numb to the killing of children”.

“The grim tally of children killed in Syria in the past two weeks has increased daily as violence escalates in several areas across the country,” she said. “Enough is enough.”

The attack in Damascus is reported to have occurred as children were leaving school. CAFOD reported on Wednesday of last week that bombing in Damascus had hit churches and schools over the past week, “killing and injuring many civilians”.

A woman at St Louis Hospital in Damascus, which received victims, said: “I saw a family of a father who is now in intensive care, a mother who was severely wounded, and a three-year-old boy who lost his life, because his parents decided to take him for a walk on a sunny day. The grandmother of the boy was crying, screaming. No one could blame her. She was a grandma a few minutes ago; now she is no more.”

The toddler was named by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) as Elie Khoury, and the teenage girl as Rita Eid, who had finished a day at the Church-run Al Riaya School. Her friend, Christine, lost a leg in the attack.

The mortar bombs are reported to have come from Eastern Ghouta, controlled by rebels and under siege and shelling by government forces. In an earlier attack this month, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, the Most Revd Samir Nassar, narrowly avoided injury when a shell landed in his bedroom.

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