A large explosion reportedly caused by rockets has hit a central neighborhood of the Syrian city of Aleppo, local state-run television said, blaming the violence on a ‘terrorist group’. A TV report showed a building collapsed into rubble.
The number of casualties was not immediately known, though the TV report showed crowds of people pulling bloodied bodies from the rubble, Reuters said.
The video showed a man navigating the ruins while holding a baby allegedly just saved from the wreckage. Another man was seen clutching his head as blood ran down his forehead. The same video also reportedly shows a crowd of people placing the injured on stretchers at the scene, AP said.
A video broadcast on Syrian state TV showed the collapsed floors of the targeted building in a government-controlled area of the city, AP reported.
While state-run news agency SANA generally blames such violence on ‘terrorists,’ a word used by the regime to describe rebel forces, anti-Assad activist groups along with Local Coordination Committees of Syria accused the government of launching the attack.
"The rebels do not have this capability yet," Aleppo activist Hameed Barrasho told Reuters via Skype. "We have several reports of a jet in the area before the strike. This is the regime trying to sow more chaos in the city."
The latest news from Aleppo coincides with reports from activists in another Syrian city, where an explosion near Al-Husain mosque in Deraa, south of Damascus, reportedly caused several deaths and injuries.
State TV claimed that al-Qaida-linked rebels detonated explosives installed in cars parked near the mosque. The number of deaths has not yet been reported, but the explosion is said to have caused “many” casualties as worshippers left the mosque following Friday prayers.
The situation in Aleppo has deteriorated in the past few days. On January 15, two rocket explosions hit the University of Aleppo, killing at least 87 people and injuring 160.
Aleppo is Syria's largest city and has been fiercely contested between government forces and rebel fighters, who have battled to a stalemate in the strategically important region.