50 dead in artillery fire, Russian strikes in Deir Ezzor

Smoke billows from the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2017
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50 dead in artillery fire, Russian strikes in Deir Ezzor

BEIRUT: Dozens of civilians have died in artillery fire and Russian bombardment of two displacement camps and surrounding territory in eastern Syria, a monitor said on Sunday in a new toll.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ongoing heavy bombardment in the Deir Ezzor province had killed 50 civilians, including 20 children, since late Friday night.
The new toll was nearly double the Britain-based monitor’s count on Saturday of 26 dead.
The bombardment has targeted territory along the Euphrates River, as well as villages and displacement camps full of people fleeing fighting in the Syrian border town of Albu Kamal.
Russian-backed Syrian regime forces and allied militia seized Albu Kamal from Daesh on Thursday but the terrorists retook it late on Saturday.
On Sunday, Russian airstrikes on two river crossings along the Euphrates killed 11 civilians, according to Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
“Five civilians, including two children, were killed in the strikes on Al-Soussa crossing about five kilometers east of Albu Kamal,” said Abdel Rahman.
“Six civilians were killed in raids on another river crossing 20 km north of the town,” he added.
The toll from earlier artillery fire and air strikes on two displacement camps and surrounding villages rose to 39 after 13 civilians succumbed to their wounds, the Observatory said on Sunday.
Albu Kamal is the last significant Syrian town Daesh controls. Losing it would cap the group’s reversion to an underground guerrilla organization with no urban base.


Iran must provide care to detainees on hunger strike: UN experts

Updated 50 min 9 sec ago
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Iran must provide care to detainees on hunger strike: UN experts

  • British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe launched a hunger strike over a lack of care
  • “The authorities must urgently address the violations that are the basis of their hunger strike protest,” UN experts said

GENEVA: UN human rights experts urged Iran on Wednesday to grant urgently needed medical attention to two detainees, including British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who launched a hunger strike over a lack of care.
The six UN experts also appealed on behalf of Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who was arrested in 2015 and jailed for 10 years for “forming and managing an illegal group” and who has joined Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s hunger strike.
“We urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally provide Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Narges Mohammadi with access to the appropriate treatment and care they have repeatedly requested in light of their serious health concerns,” the experts said in a statement.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has said his wife has detected a lump in her breast and is complaining of numbness in her arms and legs.
Mohammadi has been denied proper health care for more than a year, despite suffering from a pulmonary embolism, blood clots and seizures, the experts said said, citing people familiar with her situation.
“The authorities must urgently address the violations that are the basis of their hunger strike protest,” the group said.
The statement was signed by Dainius Puras, special rapporteur on the right to health, Diego Garcia-Sayan, the rapporteur for independent judges and lawyers as well as Nils Melzer, the UN expert on torture.
It was also signed by a specialist on arbitrary detentions, Seong-Phil Hong, the rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, and Javaid Rehman, the expert on human rights in Iran.
UN rights experts are independent, unpaid and do not speak for the office of the High Commission for Human Rights.