Over 1,000 killed in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta: MSF

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Damascus, March 9 (IANS) Over 1,000 people have been killed and 4,800 others injured in Syria’s rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta in just two weeks, MSF or Doctors Without Borders announced on Friday.

The group said the numbers, dating from the start of the renewed Syrian government assault on February 18 until March 4, were an “underestimate” and do not include the data of all MSF-supported medical facilities or facilities not supported by it, reports CNN.

MSF’s toll was last updated on Sunday.

Monitoring groups have reported scores killed daily this week as activists reported “apocalyptic” scenes in the streets of Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of capital Damascus.

Fifteen out of 20 MSF-supported facilities have been shelled or bombed in the continuing government offensive, according to the NGO.

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“MSF urgently repeats its call for an immediate ceasefire to be implemented and for medical supplies to be allowed into the besieged area to treat the sick and wounded,” CNN quoted the organisation as saying.

Reports of malnourishment were also rampant and many of Eastern Ghouta’s residents were living in poorly equipped basements for some respite from nearly incessant shelling.

On Wednesday alone, 90 people were killed in strikes across Eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

The UN Security Council and Russian President Vladimir Putin had issued calls for a pause in fighting to allow civilians to leave, but both were ignored.

Rebel fighters in Eastern Ghouta and Syrian government forces have accused each other of breaking the truce.

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–IANS

ksk/mr

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