Syria conflict: Aleppo barrel bomb death toll rises

The blasts scattered debris over a wide area

The number of people killed by barrel bombs dropped by government aircraft in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday has risen to more than 70, activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 28 children were among those who died in the rebel-held areas affected.

The opposition Aleppo Media Centre called the raids "unprecedented".

Rebels have asked civilians to move away from state security buildings in government-held parts of Aleppo, saying they will be targeted in retaliation.

In Sunday's raids, explosive-filled cylinders or oil barrels were reportedly rolled out of helicopters as they flew over the Sakhur, Ard al-Hamra and Haydariya areas of Syria's second city.

Video footage posted online afterwards showed bulldozers clearing rubble from the streets as people searched for survivors in heavily damaged buildings.

Government forces have used air power against rebel-held areas in the 33-month-old conflict that has left more than 100,000 people dead.

Activists say the targeting is often indiscriminate and that hospitals, bakeries and residential buildings are frequently hit.

On Monday, government aircraft bombed the villages of Inkhil and Jassem in the southern province of Deraa, the Syrian Observatory said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations appealed for $6.5bn (£4bn) to help the 11 million people - half the Syrian population - who it said were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

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