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Syrian air strikes kill at least 28 civilians in refugee camp

A camp for internally displaced Syrians near Turkish border was struck by government planes as 48-ceasefire takes hold in Aleppo
Bombed-out building in Syria's war-torn Idlib province (AFP)

Air strikes killed at least 28 civilians on Thursday in a camp for internally displaced Syrians near the Turkish border as a 48-hour ceasefire took hold in Aleppo.

The truce came after increased violence in and around Aleppo, and was made possible when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebel forces gave in to mounting diplomatic pressure for a pause.

But as relieved civilians ventured out onto Aleppo's streets after two weeks of heavy fighting in the divided city, a key battleground in Syria's five-year civil war, others were attacked further west.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the air strikes that also left 50 civilians wounded targeted a camp near Sarmada in Idlib province, which is controlled by Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front, and its rebel allies.

Mamun al-Khatib, director of the Aleppo-based pro-rebel Shahba Press news agency, accused the government of carrying out the attacks.

"Two regime aircraft fired four missiles at the camp in the village of al-Kammouna," he said.

"Two missiles fell near the the camp, causing people to panic, and two more hit inside, setting a dozen tents on fire."

Images shared online by activists showed emergency workers putting out fires among damaged blue-and-white tents.

Khatib said refugees in the camp had fled fighting in the north of Aleppo province.

Thousands of Syrians have fled fighting in the northern province in recent weeks, and camps for the displaced have been set up along the Turkish border.

The air strikes come after an intense diplomatic push to revive a landmark ceasefire and salvage peace efforts to end Syria's five-year conflict.

The 27 February nationwide ceasefire between the government and rebels did not cover areas where al-Nusra is present.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions since it started after a brutal crackdown of anti-government protests in 2011.

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