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The New Arab

Coalition airstrikes kill 22 civilians in Syria’s Raqqa

One airstrike hit a school housing displaced Syrians south of Raqqa [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 13 March, 2017

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At least 22 civilians were killed and scores injured in US-led coalition airstrikes on the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, local sources said Sunday.

At least 22 civilians were killed and scores injured in US-led coalition airstrikes on the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, local sources and a monitor said Sunday.

“International coalition warplanes hit a school complex overnight in the village of Kassrat, south of Raqqa, housing displace people from Aleppo province, killing 17 civilians, mostly women and children,” local activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said.

The group added that another 15 people were injured in the airstrike.

Meanwhile, the villages of al-Karama and al-Ghassaniya east of Raqqa also were also hot by airstrikes, which killed five civilians and injured 11 others.

The casualty numbers are likely to rise due to the high number of those critically wounded and the unavailability of adequate medical care, local sources said.

In Damascus, the death toll from Saturday’s twin bombings targeting Shia pilgrims has risen to 74 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday.

Among the victims of the blasts were 43 Iraqi pilgrims who had come to the Syrian capital to visit Shia shrines in Damascus's famed Old City.

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The Britain-based monitor said that 11 bystanders and eight children were among those killed, as well as 20 members of pro-government security forces.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that a roadside bomb detonated as a bus carrying pilgrims made its way through the Bab al-Saghir area of the Old City before a suicide bomber blew himself up.

Syrian state television on Saturday gave a toll of 40 killed and 120 wounded by "two bombs detonated by terrorists".

Syria's former al-Qaeda affiliate Fatah al-Sham took responsibility for the deadly attack.

Damascus, stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has been largely spared the violence that has rocked other major cities in Syria's six-year war.

But periodic bombings have targeted Shia shrines and were subsequently claimed by the Islamic State group.

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