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Twelve Children Killed As Suspected Russian Air Strike Hits Syrian School

A suspected Russian air strike has struck a school in northern Syria, killing at least 12 children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on January 11 that the air strike on the town of Ain Jara, in rebel-controlled Aleppo Province, also killed three teachers and wounded 20 others.

The monitoring group said Aleppo had been the scene of air strikes and heavy clashes between government and rebel forces since January 10.

Russia, a staunch ally of Syria President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has been conducting air strikes in support of the central government since September.

The monitoring group said in late December that Russian air strikes had killed more than 2,300 people since they began on September 30, among them 792 civilians.

Moscow has denied its strikes have killed civilians.

France Calls For Civilian Relief

Earlier, France called on the Syrian government and Russia to stop military operations against civilians, just two weeks before peace talks are scheduled.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius singled out the situation in the city of Madaya, besieged by government forces, where aid groups say residents are dying of starvation.

Fabius said France would consult the UN Security Council to press Syria to end what he described as "inadmissible" attacks.

"We discussed the absolute necessity that Syria and Russia end their military operations against civilians," Fabius told reporters in Paris.

Russia, which has been conducting air strikes in Syria since September, denies targeting civilians.

Aid convoys were due to enter Madaya and the cities of Al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib Province on January 11.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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