Activists: Syrian Airstrike Kills 20 in Aleppo

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BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian government airstrike hit a crowded vegetable market in a rebel-held neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, killing at least 20 people, activists said.

For nearly two weeks, President Bashar Assad's warplanes and helicopters have pounded opposition-controlled areas of the divided city. Activists say the aerial assault has killed more than 400 people since it began Dec. 15.

Saturday's airstrike slammed into a marketplace in the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood, the Aleppo-based activist Hassoun Abu Faisal and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said 21 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the strike.

Abu Faisal, who is an activist with the Aleppo Media Center, put the death toll at more than 20, but said medical officials were still tallying the exact figure. He said the air raid took place around 10 a.m. local time when the market was packed with shoppers.

"Cars were damaged, debris and rubble are everywhere," he said. "Many of the wounded have lost limbs."

Both Abu Faisal and the Observatory reported airstrikes in other opposition-held areas of Aleppo, including Myassar, although there was no immediate word on casualties.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been a major front in the country's civil war since rebels launched an offensive there in mid-2012. The city has been heavily damaged since then in fighting that has left it divided into rebel- and government-controlled areas.

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