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Kids celebrate Eid in Syria’s war-weary Ghouta district

KIDS CELEBRATE EID IN SYRIA’S WAR-WEARY GHOUTA DISTRICT

Children in the city of Douma in Syria's war-torn Ghouta region near Damascus are enjoying the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday in a playground built amid the rubble of wrecked buildings.

Although surrounded on all sides by heaps of rubble, smiles can be seen on the children's faces, who can now enjoy the modest playground and momentarily forget the ongoing conflict in their country.

Parents in Douma, for their part, are now much less afraid to let their kids play outside given the recent sharp decline in the number of airstrikes now being carried out in the area by the regime and its allies.

The playground's construction was funded by local residents with a view to providing Douma's war-weary children with a place in which they might play without fear.

"In the run-up to the Eid holiday, we collected a number of toys and rides for the kids to enjoy," Shadi al-Ahmad, a local resident who helped finance the playground, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Ahmed says he and the project's other sponsors had tried to find a part of the city that had not been severely marred by the conflict in which to build the playground.

"But the fierce attacks to which the area has been subjected for the last five years has left no place unaffected," he said.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests, leading to open warfare in several parts of the country between it and heavily-armed opposition groups.

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Assad regime officials say the number is closer to 10,000.

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