More than 120 killed by earthquake in areas held by Syrian opposition forces

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An earthquake in neighboring Turkey on Monday killed more than 120 people and injured over 230 in parts of northwestern Syria held by Syrian opposition forces, rescue workers said.

The White Helmets rescue group, which operates in Syrian opposition forces -controlled areas of the war-torn country, said on Twitter that the quake left “120+ civilians... dead, 230+ injured” in Idlib province and the countryside of Aleppo province, adding the death toll was expected to rise as “hundreds of families are still trapped under rubble.”

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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck before dawn near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, about 40 kilometers from the Syrian border.

It left northwestern Syria “in a state of catastrophe” with “destruction, devastation, and collapse of buildings,” the White Helmets rescue group said on Twitter.

“Hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths, many trapped under the rubble or stranded in the winter cold,” the group said.

A doctor at a hospital in the countryside of the northwestern province of Idlib said it had received the bodies of 30 people.

“After the earthquake which occurred today, we received 100 injured and 30 martyrs,” said Doctor Majid Ibrahim of the Al-Rahma hospital.

“The situation is too bad because a lot of people are still under the debris of the buildings,” he told AFP.

Earlier, a medical official said at least eight people were killed in Azaz and al-Bab, regions of northern Syria controlled by pro-Turkish forces.

In government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria, the death toll from the earthquake was at least 237, according to the health ministry.

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