Bloomberg News

Syrian Forces Bomb Northern Town Ahead of Visit by UN Envoy

October 19, 2012

Syrian government warplanes bombed a rebel-held northern town, killing 28 people and reducing homes to rubble, activists said, marking another escalation in a 19- month conflict descending into civil war.

Nine children were among the dead in the attack on Maarat al-Numan in the province of Idlib yesterday, bringing the day’s death toll to more than 200, according to the opposition Observatory for Human Rights. Footage on Al Arabiya television showed civilians and rescue workers searching for corpses and survivors.

More than 30,000 people have lost their lives since the start of the uprising to end the rule of President Bashar al- Assad, according to Syrian human rights groups. United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is seeking backing for a cease-fire during an Islamic holiday this month, a proposal backed by rebel groups as well as Iran and Turkey.

Brahimi is on a regional tour that took him to Jordan and Lebanon. Assad’s government is also expecting him to visit Damascus.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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