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Dec 26, 12:40 PM EST

Syrian air raids on IS-held towns kill dozens

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say Syrian air raids on two northern towns held by the militant Islamic State group have killed more than 50 people in two days.

Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that several airstrikes on the towns of al-Bab and neighboring Qabasin killed at least 53 people, including seven children.

The strikes occurred Thursday. Another Syrian monitoring group also reported the raids, and activists uploaded video of the strikes' aftermaths to social networks. They appeared genuine and corresponded to Associated Press reporting.

The Syrian government has been heavily bombing areas held by rebels and the militant Islamic State group in recent days. Rights groups accuse government forces of using bombs that cannot be precisely targeted, causing high civilian casualties.

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