Date
22 January 2017
A section of Aleppo's ancient citadel lies in ruins after an explosion in a tunnel near the city. Government forces blew up the tunnel dug by insurgents, causing a wall of the fortress to collapse. Photo: Reuters
A section of Aleppo's ancient citadel lies in ruins after an explosion in a tunnel near the city. Government forces blew up the tunnel dug by insurgents, causing a wall of the fortress to collapse. Photo: Reuters

Blast destroys wall of ancient Syrian fortress

An explosion in northern Syria damaged a historic fortress that is part of a heritage site in the old city of Aleppo.

A section of a wall was destroyed when government forces blew up a tunnel dug by insurgents, according to Reuters which cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Aleppo was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage in danger in 2013.

Syria’s most populous city before the civil war is divided into areas controlled separately by the government and insurgents who are battling to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

French news agency AFP is reporting that the explosion was followed by clashes between rebels and government forces who are battling for control of the northern city.

Government forces are deployed in parts of the old city as well as inside the citadel.

The rebels launched a major offensive in the first week of July to try to take territory.

The Aleppo Citadel, which contains the remains of mosques, a palace and bath buildings was seized by the jihadist Islamic State group on May 21.

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