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UN accuses Syria govt forces of killing 85 civilians in E. Ghouta rebel enclave

The UN human rights chief said on Wednesday that Syrian government forces and their allies have killed at least 85 civilians since December 31 in attacks against the besieged rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, Reuters reports. The area is the last major rebel-held zone near Damascus, and at least 390,000 civilians have been besieged there for four years. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned that conditions for them amount to a humanitarian catastrophe. He accused the government troops of striking residential areas “from the ground and from the air.” Warring parties are obliged by law to distinguish between civilians and lawful military targets, Zeid said.