Nine lives were lost when a missile hit a school and a camp for displaced people in Syria’s Idlib region. Five killed were children, while four were adults.
“Fortunately, most students had left only 10 minutes before the bombing, but there were some still playing in front of the school,” Mustafa Al Rashid, a spokesman for the civil defence office in the town of Sarmin said.
The missile landed in a street between the school and the camp, damaging both. Nineteen people were injured, including a teacher who is in a critical condition.
The missile appeared to have dispersed cluster bombs, eyewitnesses said.
Aid agencies have repeatedly warned that attacking Idlib puts the lives of 3 million civilians in danger and could trigger the worst humanitarian disaster of a war that has lasted nearly a decade.
Originally home to about a million people, the province’s population has been swollen in recent months.
Sarmin has become a sanctuary for displaced people fleeing a campaign of aerial bombing and ground attacks launched by forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. More than 235,000 civilians have left their homes in the past few weeks, the UN has said.