Syrian activists say a government war plane has killed 10 children after dropping cluster bombs on a playground in the village of Deir al-Asafir on Sunday.
Amateur footage posted to YouTube purports to show the aftermath of the attack: adults appear to rush wounded children to nearby vehicles; a girl sits on the floor, crying, with blood running down her face. A second, extremely graphic video, shows what appears to be the dead bodies of two young girls. Another video shows remnants of what activists say are cluster bombs. The videos could not be verified independently.
Activists told Reuters the children were playing outside during a break in fighting when the bombs struck. "None of those killed were older than 15 years old. There are two women among 15 people wounded, mostly hit as they were inside the courtyards of their houses," activist Abu Kassem told the news service. "There were no fighters inside Deir al-Asafir when the bombing occurred. They operate on the outskirts. This was indiscriminate bombing."
Deir al-Asafir is near several Damascus suburbs that have seen intense clashes between rebels and the Syrian army in recent months, the Independent explains. According to the BBC, the International Red Cross said it had been unable to confirm the activists' claims.
In recent months, Syria has been accused of using cluster bombs in its fight against opposition groups. Human Rights Watch reported in October 2012 that evidence suggested the Syrian military had used cluster bombs near the towns of Taftanaz and Ma'arat. "At least 18 videos have been posted on YouTube by Syrian activists showing the aftermath of the cluster munition strikes in recent days. They are the latest in a continuous stream of videos showing ongoing fighting, and the Human Rights Watch interviews with residents of two of the affected towns corroborate the use of cluster munitions," the organization wrote in its report.
The U.N. political affairs chief briefed the Security Council earlier this month on credible reports of the Syrian regime's use of cluster bombs, Reuters adds. Syria has denied the accusations.
Activists estimate more than 40,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011. On Monday, opposition fighters said they had won control over a hydroelectric dam over the Euphrates river.