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Syria war: Children killed by government shelling as they walk to school in Idlib

Wednesday's bombardment was the deadliest since the Idlib truce deal brokered by Turkey and Russia in March 2020
Civilians carry a body out of a hospital in the Syrian town of Ariha in the rebel-held northwestern Idlib province following shelling of the area, on 20 October 2021 (MEE/Omar Haj Kadour)

A Syrian government bombardment in the city of Ariha killed at least 10 people, including four children, and wounded dozens of others on Wednesday, rescue workers reported. 

A spokesperson from the Syrian Civil Defence Force said that government shelling had targeted the city, in the rebel-held Idlib province, as children were going to school. 

Earlier, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that rockets had struck the city, and also killed at least three rebels. 

Images sent to Middle East Eye showed doctors tending to young children who had their limbs blown off in the attack. Other images showed rescue workers from the Syrian Civil Defence Force and Violet rescue service putting dead bodies in body bags. 

Wednesday's bombardment is the deadliest day of fighting since Turkey and Russia brokered a truce deal in March 2020. 

Idlib is the last remaining rebel bastion for the rebels, as government forces, aided by Iranian and Russian allies, slowly take control of the area. 

The shelling came soon after an army bus exploded in Damascus, killing at least 13 people in the deadliest attack on the capital since 2017. State media reported that two explosives were detonated during the morning rush hour as the army bus crossed a bridge in Damascus. 

Earlier, six members of a pro-government militia were killed on Wednesday in an arms depot blast in the central Syrian province of Hama. Seven other members of the National Defence Forces militia were wounded in the blast, the cause of which remains unclear, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Additional reporting by Ali Haj Suleiman