DASMASCUS, Syria – Four children were among at least 11 people killed when a war-damaged block of flats collapsed in Syria’s second city Aleppo on Saturday, February 2, state media said.
One child was pulled out alive from the rubble of the 5-storey block after rescue teams toiled, many of them with their bare hands, to remove the shattered breeze blocks that had buried him, Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographers reported.
He was the sole survivor of the collapse in the formerly rebel-held neighborhood of Salaheddin, the official SANA news agency reported.
Saleheddin was heavily bombed before the army overran rebel districts with Russian support in late 2016.
What little reconstruction there has been among the ruins has been carried out privately. The state has limited public works to the restoration of basic infrastructure.
Many of the buildings around the block that caved in still bear the scars of the ferocious four-year battle for the northern city, with several on the brink of collapse.
Washington has estimated the costs of rebuilding Syria’s devastated housing and infrastructure at between $300 billion and $400 billion.
But it warned last month that, while overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad was no longer a goal of US policy, it would contribute no reconstruction funds without fundamental reform in Damascus. – Rappler.com
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