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Nearly 500 dead, food running out in Aleppo: UN chief

Aleppo

UNITED NATIONS: The Russian and Syrian bombing raids in Aleppo have had horrific results with nearly 500 dead, while food rations are expected to run out by the end of the month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

The air strikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo since the Syrian government offensive was launched on September 22 have been the most intense of the five-year war, Ban told a special meeting of the General Assembly.

“The results have been horrific”, he said.

Nearly 500 people have been killed and about 2,000 injured. More than a quarter of all deaths are children.

No UN aid convoy has entered Aleppo since July 7 and food rations will run out by the end of October, Ban warned, saying hunger was being used as a weapon of war.

The meeting at the General Assembly was called by 72 countries led by Canada to try to break the deadlock after the Security Council failed to take action to end the bombings and revive peace efforts.

Two resolutions were defeated during a stormy council session earlier this month, one of which was vetoed by Russia, which is backing the Syrian regime in its war against opposition fighters and jihadists.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he was “puzzled” by the statements at the meeting because they failed to mention the urgent need to combat terrorism in Syria.

Churkin said Ban and others had not pronounced “a single word to talk about terrorist organizations, as if the disaster in Syria was like the hurricane that hit Haiti.”

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