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Activists: Syrian government forces step up shelling of rebel areas, killing 9 in village

  • The proximity of the Islamic State group to the Kurdish forces defending the Syrian border town of Kobani is seen with the yellow triangular flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, flying on a building, bottom right, just inside Kobani in Syria, near the Turkey-Syria border Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. In the background, the black flag of the Islamic State group flies atop a building, top left, Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    The proximity of the Islamic State group to the Kurdish forces defending the Syrian border town of Kobani is seen with the yellow triangular flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, flying on a building, bottom right, just inside Kobani in Syria, near the Turkey-Syria border Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. In the background, the black flag of the Islamic State group flies atop a building, top left, Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Turkish military tank takes a position on a hilltop overlooking Kobani on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    A Turkish military tank takes a position on a hilltop overlooking Kobani on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke rises during fighting in Kobani, seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Smoke rises during fighting in Kobani, seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say that Syrian government forces have stepped up shelling of rebel-held areas, killing nine people in a village in the country's north.

Local activist Ibrahim Khatib and Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that government forces targeted the village of Tel Qrah the previous night.

They say the bombing is part of an intensified effort by the Syrian government forces to retake rebel-held areas around the country's key cities and towns while the U.S.-led coalition is focusing on fighting the Islamic State group.

Abdurrahman says the bombing killed nine, including three children.

Khatib says a hall where displaced Syrians were living was hit and that many bodies were badly burnt and could not be identified.