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26 civilians killed Sunday in Turkey's Syria assault: Report

Children hold pictures, as Syrian Kurd refugees protest at the Ritsona camp, some 80 km north of Athens, on October 10, 2019, after Turkey launched an assault on Kurdish forces in northern Syria with air strikes and explosions reported along the border. Ritsona camp houses some 950 refugees, mainly Syrians and Kurds. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Beirut, Beyrouth, Lebanon Oct 13, 2019, 09.31 PM (IST)

At least 26 civilians were killed on Sunday in northeastern Syria as Turkey and its proxies stepped up their offensive against Kurdish forces, a war monitor said.

Among the casualties were 10 people killed in a Turkish air strike that hit a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and journalists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

France 2 television journalist Stephanie Perez wrote on Twitter that she was travelling in the convoy that was hit.

"Our team is safe but colleagues have died," Perez wrote.

The Britain-based Observatory said a journalist had been killed, but it could not immediately confirm the victim's nationality.

The latest toll brought up to at least 60 the number of civilians killed since Wednesday, when Turkey and its proxies -- Syrian ex-rebels -- launched a broad cross-border assault.

Another 104 fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- the de facto Kurdish army in the region -- have also been killed, according to the Observatory.

The UN says the violence has forced 130,000 people to flee their homes.

Story highlights

Among the casualties were 10 people killed in a Turkish air strike that hit a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and journalists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.