CONFLICTS

Prisoners reportedly shot dead while fleeing Syrian prison after air strike

MARCH 19: People and a civil defence personnel carry a child who survived after an airstrike on rebel-held Idlib city.

MARCH 19: People and a civil defence personnel carry a child who survived after an airstrike on rebel-held Idlib city.  (Reuters)

Prisoners who attempted to flee from a Syrian prison that had just been struck in an air strike Friday night were fatally shot while they tried to level the facility, a Britain-based war monitor told Reuters.

The prison is located in the rebel-held Idlib province. At least 16 people—both prisoners and staff—were killed in the strike, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Last week, a UN investigative commission said it believes government forces deliberately bombed a school complex in the country’s northern countryside in October, killing 21 children, in a scathing report on crimes committed over the last seven months of the Syrian war.

The UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said government forces and their allies had shown a “complete disregard for civilian life and international law” through continued use of cluster munitions, incendiary weapons and chlorine gas as weapons of war.