5 days into Geneva talks, Russia continues pounding Syria
 By Selen Temizer and Mohamed Misto

During the first five days of talks in Geneva aimed at finding a solution to the conflict in Syria, Russia has continued carrying out airstrikes in the war-battered country, reportedly killing more than 130 civilians.

Talks currently underway in Geneva are aimed at forging an interim Syrian government and a new constitution before holding elections within two years.

The agenda of talks is topped by the need for a cease-fire and delivery of humanitarian aid and the fight against the Daesh militant group.

On Tuesday, the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) noted that 131 civilians had been killed by Russian airstrikes during the first five days of the talks, including 70 deaths on the fifth day alone.

According to the SNHR, 58 civilians were killed in Aleppo; 24 in Deir ez-Zor; 13 in Daraa; 10 each in Homs and Raqqa; and eight each in Idlib and Raqqa.

"Russia is killing our people and hindering negotiations," Salim Muslet, a spokesman for the pro-opposition High Negotiations Committee, said Tuesday from Geneva.

Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed across the country and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.
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