March 4, 2018 / 11:15 AM / 7 months ago

Attacks on Syria's Ghouta 'unacceptable' collective punishment - U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - Violence has escalated in eastern Ghouta, despite a U.N. ceasefire call a week ago, and the bombing of the besieged Syrian enclave represents a “simply unacceptable” punishment of civilians, the United Nations said on Sunday.

A man is seen inside a damaged mosque in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/ Bassam Khabieh

Nearly 600 people have been reported killed and more than 2,000 injured in air and ground-based strikes since Feb. 18, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator Panos Moumtzis said, noting that mortar shells fired from the rebel-held enclave into the capital Damascus had killed and injured scores of civilians.

“Instead of a much needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more disturbing reports of hunger and hospitals being bombed. This collective punishment of civilians is simply unacceptable,” Moumtzis said in a statement.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Alexander Smith

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