Syria conflict: 'Army rocket kills 31 in Aleppo'

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DAMASCUS. February 20. KAZINFORM A Syrian army rocket attack has killed at least 31 people in the city of Aleppo, eyewitnesses and activists say.

They say the rocket hit the rebel-held Jabal Badro district, destroying several buildings.

There are fears that more people may still be buried under the rubble.

The Syrian government has not commented on the claim. Some 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, the UN says.

Meanwhile, Syrian state media said that mortar shells exploded near one of the presidential palaces of Bashar al-Assad in the capital, Damascus, BBC informs.

No casualties were reported. It is not clear whether the president was in the Tishreen palace at the time.

Damascus-based activist Khaled al-Shami said the attack was "a clear message to the regime that nowhere is safe from now on".

"The fact that they had to announce it means they can no longer hide what is happening in Damascus," he told AP news agency via Skype.

In a separate development, the first of two Russian planes with humanitarian aid landed in the Syrian port of Latakia, Russia's Interfax news agency reports.

More than 46 tonnes of aid is being delivered from Moscow, including generators, tents and food.

The planes are expected to take back Russian citizens on the return flight, which would be the first direct evacuation.

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