June 15, 2015 / 4:44 PM / in 2 years

Syria says at least 23 killed in rebel shelling in Aleppo

AMMAN (Reuters) - More than 23 civilians were killed by heavy insurgent shelling on government-controlled areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo, including near a mosque where children were taking religious lessons, state television said on Monday.

It said heavy shelling from Aleppo districts under the control of opposition fighters hit several districts in the Jamae al Raham Mosque area, al Ashrafia, Ramousa and several other residential areas in state-controlled parts of the city.

At least 100 civilians needed hospital treatment, it said. It was not immediately clear whether any of the children were among the dead.

"These terrorists were shelling civilians and Muslims learning how to recite the Koran. The aim is to terrorise people," Information Minister Omran al-Zubi told state television.

The Syrian army and rebels have been fighting for months in Aleppo, which was the country's economic and industrial hub before rebels took over the northeastern parts of the city in July 2012.

The army has stepped up aerial bombing of insurgent strongholds in the city that has also killed dozens of civilians.

Reporting by Laila Bassam in Beirut and Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Alison Williams

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