Activists raise Raqqa death toll to 95

Activists raise Raqqa death toll to 95

Fifty-two, including three women and four children, were among the dead.

By (AP)

Published: Thu 27 Nov 2014, 1:20 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:36 AM

Beirut: The death toll from a series of Syrian government airstrikes on the ISIS group’s stronghold in northeastern Syria has risen to at least 95, making it one of the deadliest attacks on the city of Raqqa in the past three years.

Some of the airstrikes on Tuesday struck a popular market near a museum and an industrial neighborhood, causing many civilian casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights raised its death toll Wednesday to 95. Its director, Rami Abdurrahman, said they include 52 civilians whose names the group was able to document. They include three women and four children, he said. At least 120 others were wounded in the strikes, according to the group.

Other activists, including the Local Coordination Committees and a Raqqa-based collective called Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, estimated more than 100 people had been killed. It was not clear how many militants were among those killed.

AP could not independently confirm the death toll -- one of the worst single-day tolls in the city, which is completely under the control of the ISIS group.

The Syrian government as well as the US-led coalition frequently bomb ISIS group targets in Raqqa, but it was not immediately clear what prompted Tuesday’s unusually intense attacks. The ISIS has slaughtered hundreds of Syrian soldiers in the past few months, and recently posted a video showing what it said was the beheading of more than a dozen Syrian soldiers, including officers.

In Iraq, security forces backed by tribesmen repelled an assault by ISIS militants on a government complex in the center of Ramadi, the provincial capital of western Anbar province, said officials. Soldiers, supported by army helicopters, were able to fend off the attack, according to the officials who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to brief the media.

ISIS militants have overrun a large part of Anbar province in a push to expand their territory. The group now controls about a third of Syria and Iraq, declaring the territory as part of its self-described caliphate.

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