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Two rescuers among 14 civilians killed by Syria regime fire: monitor

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Maaret al-Noman (Syria) (AFP)

Regime bombardment killed 14 civilians including two rescue workers in an ambulance and seven children in embattled northwest Syria on Thursday, a Britain-based war monitor said.

The children were killed in various areas of the jihadist-run Idlib province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

A regime air strike targeted an ambulance in the town of Maaret al-Noman, killing two rescue workers inside, in the latest deadly bombardment on the wider region.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw a destroyed ambulance and rescuers carrying a wounded survivor from the vehicle.

The Benefsej aid organisation said two of its workers had been killed.

"It was a direct targeting of the ambulance, killing two" aid workers, said Fouad Issa, a member of the charity's management board.

A woman also died in the ambulance while she was being transported for treatment, he added.

Russia and rebel backer Turkey brokered an agreement in September intended to stave off an all-out regime assault on Idlib, home to three million people, but that deal was never fully implemented as jihadists refused to withdraw from the planned buffer zone.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, led by ex-members of Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate, extended its control over the region, which spans most of Idlib province as well as slivers of the adjacent provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo.

The Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing more than 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions at home and abroad since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.

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