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23 killed in north Syria violence

At least 11 children were among 23 people killed in northern Syria as pro-government forces kept up their campaign against opposition areas in the country’s north, while rebels shelled a government-held district in Aleppo city. At least eight more people were killed in a suspected airstrike on a crossing point connecting Kurdish-held areas with rebel areas in northern Aleppo province, the Kurdish security force said.

The violence on Sunday comes a day after government troops repelled a rebel offensive on western parts of Aleppo city launched in late October. State news agency SANA said the shelling of a western Aleppo district killed four people, including two women and a child.

The government siege has left an estimated 275,000 people trapped with no aid allowed in since July, amid a punishing bombing campaign. The rebel offensive started after Russia, a major Syrian government ally, said it would halt airstrikes to allow rebels and supporters to leave eastern Aleppo.

Residents of eastern Aleppo on Sunday said for days they have received text messages, urging them to leave in the next 24 hours. It was not possible to immediately verify the authenticity of the messages or who sent them. Government aircraft had previously dropped fliers on the eastern districts also urging residents to leave and make use of the Russian-declared passageways to evacuate the besieged district. 
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