Arab Spring

Thirty Dead in Syrian Airstrikes, Say Activists

Maarat Numan is hotly contested by rebels and the government

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BEIRUT—At least 30 civilians, many of them women and children, were killed Thursday in an airstrike on the northern Syrian city of Maarat Numan, activists said.

The city, strategically located on the main highway that connects Syria's two major cities, Aleppo and Damascus, has been the site of more than a week of fierce clashes and intense shelling by government helicopters and warplanes.

Thursday's attack came a day after activists posted a video showing what they said was a government helicopter shot down by rebels near the city.