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Syria regime denies involvement in air strike on displaced camp

An image released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on May 5, 2016 shows people looking at the damage at the site of a bomb attack in Mukharram al-Fawqani in Homs province
SANA/AFP
A 48-hour truce in Aleppo between the regime and non-jihadist rebels appeared to be largely holding

Syria's military denied Friday any involvement in air strikes that killed at least 28 civilians in a camp for displaced people near the Turkish border, state media said.

"There is no truth in the information in some media that the Syrian air force targeted the displaced camp in Idlib province" on Thursday, the SANA news agency quoted the military as saying.

It accused rebels of targeting civilians.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that air strikes struck the camp for internally displaced people near Sarmada, in Idlib province, which is controlled by Syria's al-Qaida affiliate al-Nusra Front.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said women and children were among 28 civilians killed while 50 others were wounded.

Mamun al-Khatib, director of the Aleppo-based pro-rebel Shahba Press news agency, said "regime aircraft" fired missiles on the camp in the village of Al-Kammouna.

The European Union called the bombardment "unacceptable", while the United Nations' top aid official demanded an immediate investigation.

Bulent Kilic (AFP/File)

- More than 70 dead as Syria army battles jihadists south of Aleppo: monitor -

Fighting between Syrian regime forces and Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists and their allies has left more than 70 dead south of the battleground city of Aleppo, a monitor said on Friday.

Al-Nusra Front and allied Islamists seized Khan Tuman and surrounding villages after less than 24 hours of clashes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"At least 43 Al-Nusra and allied fighters, including a local commander, and 30 on the side of the regime and allied militia were killed in the battle," said the British-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources in Syria.

Pro-regime troops had driven the jihadists out of Khan Tuman, located about 10 kilometers (six miles) southwest of Aleppo, in December.

"The recapture of the area and surrounding villages means that the regime's lines of defense south of the country's second city have been pushed back," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

A 48-hour truce in Aleppo between the regime and non-jihadist rebels appeared to be largely holding as it entered a second day on Friday.

Ibrahim Chalhoub (AFP/File)

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