– File Photo by Reuters

BEIRUT: At least 18 civilians were killed, including two children and two women, in a Syrian air raid on a rebel-held town in the northwestern province of Idlib on Saturday, a monitoring group reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, updating an earlier toll, said 50 others were wounded in the raid on an industrial zone in the town of Saraqeb.

Citing reports from activists in the area, the Observatory said a barrage of cluster munitions was fired at the area by regime forces after the air strike.

Footage filmed by local activists showed thick columns of smoke rising from the scene of the raid, as panicked residents tried to retrieve the dead and wounded.

Others tried to put out fires using water hoses and buckets as a man appealed on camera: “There is no water, there is no electricity, and now (President) Bashar (al-Assad) is... firing at us with rockets and MiG warplanes.”

Elsewhere in the province, the Observatory said at least 12 rebels were killed in shelling and heavy fighting near the village of Babolin, which lies near the Damascus-Aleppo road and which loyalist forces have been trying to capture.

It also reported air strikes around the Damascus area and the central province of Homs.

At least 54 people were killed in violence across Syria on Saturday, according to the Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics for its information.

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