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Syria air strike kills 12 in high school: NGO

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    A boy sits next to a heavily damaged school in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 17, 2013 (AFP/File)

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    Boys play on a basketball court next to a school in Afrin, Syria, on April 9, 2013 (AFP/File)

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    An image grabbed from a YouTube video on December 26, 2012 said to show bodies after the shelling of Kahtaniyeh west of Raqa (YouTube/AFP/File)

An air strike on a high school in a rebel-held city of northern Syria killed 12 people, most of them pupils, on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

"The Syrian air force bombed a technical high school in the city of Raqa, killing 12 people, most of them children under 18, and wounding many other people, some of them seriously," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group posted video footage showing mangled bodies, one of them lying under schoolbooks. Its authenticity could not immediately be verified.

"There was panic with children crying as they sought to take shelter," the Observatory quoted a survivor as saying.

Raqa, on the Euphrates valley 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the main northern city of Aleppo, is the only provincial capital entirely in rebel hands.

Captured from government forces on March 6, the city is now largely controlled by Al-Qaeda loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The air strike came after rebels launched an overnight attack on army positions in Nasseriya al-Qalamun, north of Damascus, killing at least 19 soldiers and wounding 60, the Observatory said.

"There were also losses in the ranks of the rebels, who succeeded in capturing several positions," it added, without giving a figure.