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Syria army shells rebel bastion killing seven

The Syrian army shelled the Idlib region Thursday killing seven civilians, three of them children, in its third deadly bombardment of the rebel bastion in a week, a monitor said.

Several people were seriously wounded in the morning bombardment of the village of Iblin, south of Idlib, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The army has stepped up its bombing of the northwestern enclave since Saturday when President Bashar al-Assad took the oath of office for a new term vowing to make "liberating those parts of the homeland that still need to be" one of his top priorities.

The same day strikes on the Idlib villages of Sarja and Ehsin killed 14 civilians, seven of them children.

Two days earlier shelling of Idlib and the town of Fuaa further north killed nine civilians, three of them children, the Observatory said.

Controlled by an alliance dominated by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate, the Idlib region is home to nearly three million people, two-thirds of them displaced from other parts of the country.