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Aleppo comes under renewed attack, residents face water shortages

Syrian’s northern city of Aleppo is reported to have come under renewed bombardment by government forces. This comes as residents were facing a shortage of drinking water after a water main was damaged in the fighting.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several houses in the Midan district of Aleppo had been destroyed in Sunday's attacks. An opposition activist told the Reuters news agency that dozens of people had been killed or wounded.

Midan is the part of the city where a major water main was hit on Saturday, leaving many residents without drinking water. It wasn't immediately clear which party to the conflict was responsible for the damage to that and two other water mains, but the governor of Aleppo province blamed it on "terrorists," as the government routinely describes rebel forces in the country.

"Maintenance crews are in the process of repairing them and we hope that the water will return Sunday," Mohammed Akkad told a pro-government newspaper.

Meanwhile, talks between the top US and Russian diplomats on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok failed to bring the two sides any closer together as they seek a consensus on what to do next to try to end the bloodshed in Syria.

"We have to be realistic. We haven't seen eye-to-eye," US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told reporters as the summit wrapped up on Sunday.

"I will continue to work with (Russian) Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to see if we can revisit the idea of putting the Syrian transition plan that we agreed to in Geneva earlier this summer into a (United Nations) Security Council resolution," Clinton added.

Lavrov had told reporters on Saturday that it was Russia's aim to get such a resolution adopted by the Security Council. Clinton, though, warned that any resolution could "only be effective if it includes consequences for non-compliance."

Russia and China have vetoed three previous Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Also on Sunday, the new UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria headed to Cairo for talks with Arab leaders. This is Lakdar Brahimi's first visit to the region since taking the post at the start of the month, after Kofi Annan resigned.

pfd/rg (Reuters, AFP)