The Latest: Attacks in government-controlled Aleppo kill 9

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2016 11:22 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Syria's civil war (all times local):

Syrian State TV is reporting that rebels have shelled two government-controlled areas in the contested city of Aleppo, killing nine people.

The attacks bring to 12 the total number of people killed Monday in government-held areas in the deeply divided city. Opposition activists have reported that at least three people were killed when government troops launched land-to-land missiles on areas controlled by rebels.

Violence in Aleppo and near the capital Damascus has endangered the fragile cease-fire, in effect since late February. Government and its opponents exchanged blame for violations that have left over 70 people dead in Aleppo alone since Friday. The U.N. envoy leading indirect talks in Geneva between the warring parties warned that the cease-fire was in trouble but said he would continue the latest round of talks until Wednesday, despite an opposition walkout.

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3:15 p.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is delivering its second humanitarian aid convoy in as many weeks to an opposition-held town under siege in central Syria.

ICRC spokesman Pawel Krzysiek says Monday's aid convoy to the town of Rastan, in Homs province, includes 35 trucks carrying food, delivery kits for pregnant women and anti-lice shampoo. The delivery is being carried out in partnership with the U.N. and the Syrian Red Crescent.

The town has been under siege since January. It received its first batch of humanitarian aid in over a year on Thursday.

The population of Rastan has doubled to 120,000 because of the influx of people fleeing nearby fighting.

A cease-fire deal, in place since late February, was intended in part to improve access to besieged areas of Syria. But the deal is increasingly in jeopardy as violence, particularly in the country's north and near the capital, intensifies.

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2:45 p.m.

Syrian state TV says two children and an adult were killed in rebel shelling of a government-held area in the contested northern city of Aleppo.

Monday's attack came on the fourth straight day of clashes in Aleppo, where rebels have shelled government districts and government warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes.

Activists and pro-government media have reported at least 60 people killed in the violence since Friday, including 46 in rebel-held areas. The escalating violence comes as a cease-fire, in place since late February, appears increasingly fragile.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city and onetime commercial center, has been bitterly contested since 2012. Opposition groups control the eastern part of the city but have been boxed-in by government forces, and are now linked to the surrounding area by a single narrow corridor to the northwest.

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12:15 p.m.

An activist-run monitoring group says a car bomb has exploded in a suburb of Damascus that his home to one of the holiest Shiite shrines in Syria, killing six people.

Syrian state TV confirmed the car bomb attack in the government-held Sayyida Zeinab district, but did not provide details on casualties.

Shiite fighters from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran who have flocked to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Assad's forces often say they are there to defend the Sayyida Zeinab shrine. The shrine is heavily guarded.

A previous blast in the suburb, claimed by the Islamic State group, killed some 130 people in February.