7 white helmets rescuers shot dead in gun attack

Seven White Helmets Members Shot Dead In Northwestern Syria

In Syria : 7 white helmets rescuers shot dead in gun attack

"7 SCD volunteers were killed by unknown armed men in Sarmin SCD center, Idlib, in the morning", the White Helmets said.

Seven members of the White Helmets rescue group have been reportedly shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Syria.

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The Director of the White Helmets said, "Their work exclusively focused on saving lives of civilians, triaging the wounded, and putting out fires".

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It was not immediately clear whether the motives for the raid were political or purely criminal.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the fatalities were discovered when volunteers arrived to start a shift and found the bodies of their colleagues.

The group also known as the Syrian Civil Defense called for northern Syrian checkpoints to detain any vehicles bearing the White Helmets logo that were not verified. They operate a rescue service in rebel-held parts of Syria, which have been subjected to fierce bombardment by the government and Russia's air force that has levelled whole city districts during the country's civil war.

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The gunmen "executed the volunteers with a gunshot to the head and stole everything in the center", tweeted Khaled Khatib, a cameraman for the White Helmets.

President Bashar al Assad's government, meanwhile, accuses the group of faking videos and being a tool of its global donors.

They receive funding from a number of Western governments, including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

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It now has over 3,000 volunteers conducting rescue missions across rebel-held parts of Syria.

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