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25 Die As Homes Collapse in Syria

October 2, 2002

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) _ Mountain homes in northern Syria collapsed before dawn Wednesday when caves beneath them gave way, killing 25 people and injuring 21, officials said.

It wasn’t clear whether anyone remained trapped in al-Sawdah Hill in a neighborhood of Aleppo, about 185 miles north of Damascus, the capital.

A civil defense officer told The Associated Press that 17 houses in which about 60 people were living had collapsed. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the death toll had risen to 25.

Rescue workers were providing the injured with medicine, food and shelter, Interior Minister Ali Hamoud was quoted as saying by the official Syrian Arab News Agency. He said 21 were injured.

The houses fell about 4 a.m. when old caves underneath them collapsed, said Aleppo Governor Osama Adi.

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