Opposition: More than 100 Syrians killed in bakery attack

Updated 12:15 AM EST, Mon December 24, 2012
02:21 - Source: CNN
Activists: 100 killed at Syrian bakery

Story highlights

NEW: One resident says 84 people have been buried, with more bodies still on the streets

NEW: People had been waiting for bread for almost a week

Activists say MiG planes bombed a bakery in western Syria

Videos posted on social media show rebel soldiers, civilians rushing to scene

CNN —  

Scores of people who had been without bread for days were killed when Syrian warplanes bombed a bakery in the western village of Halfaya, opposition activists said Sunday.

More than 100 people were killed, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. The death toll could rise, the activist group said.

An activist who oversaw many of the burials said at least 109 people died. The hospitals could not handle all the wounded, Hassan Al-Rajb said.

Hassan Al-Rajb told CNN that 69 people were identified and buried, while 15 others were laid to rest without being ID’d. At least 25 more bodies were still at the site, but hospital workers said the roads were cut off and they were unable to reach the bakery, he said.

The hospitals cannot handle all the wounded, he said.

An LCC activist told CNN he went to the scene.

“There were dozens of dead thrown in the street,” opposition activist Mahmoud Alawy said. “The residents were shocked and in a state of fear. It was chaotic.”

Videos posted on social media showed the purported aftermath of the attack. Many bodies had limbs apparently blown off, and others lay bloody in the streets and in rubble strewn over a sidewalk. Uniformed rebels from the Free Syrian Army and civilians scrambled to pull survivors from the wreckage.

CNN cannot independently confirm government or opposition reports out of Syria, as the government has restricted access by journalists.

Halfaya had lacked the ingredients for bread for about a week until Saturday, when an aid group delivered provisions, Alawy said. Hundreds of people lined up at the bakery Sunday.

Al-Rajb said the town has three bakeries, and one opened at 1 p.m. Workers began to distribute the bread two hours later. He was on his roof about 200 meters (about 219 yards) from the bakery about 4 p.m. and saw a plane overhead. He scrambled toward the scene when he heard cries of “Emergency! Emergency!” he said.

“The first floor collapsed on the second floor, and four rockets were fired into it,” he said of the attack.

Alawy said the government has been shelling gatherings of people in recent days, since the Free Syrian Army liberated the town from Syrian government forces.

About an hour after the bakery attack, 15 shells were fired into Halfaya from a nearby town, Al-Rajb said.

The Hama Revolution Command Council, a network of activists affiliated with the FSA in Hama province, said a MiG warplane bombed the bakery.

Many Syrians face shortages of food and other necessities as winter sets in. The United Nations estimates that more than 2.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.

Earlier in the week, opposition groups also said rebels and regime forces battled near a hospital in Halfaya. Twenty-five people died there, the LCC said.

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CNN’s Salma Abdelaziz contributed to this report.