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Syrian activists say barrel bombs dropped on city of Aleppo killed nearly 2,000 this year

A Syrian activist group says barrel bombs dropped by government forces on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo have killed nearly 2,000 people so far this year.

The grim statistics is the latest addition to the deadly tally from Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 162,000 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — one of the main groups counting the dead in the three-year-long conflict — said on Friday that the 1,963 deaths from barrel bombs in Aleppo included 283 women and 567 people under the age of 18.

Barrel bombs are pushed out of the back of helicopters. They are a crude weapon that causes massive damage, packed with hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of explosives as well as scraps of metal.