At least 54 people were killed and dozens wounded when an air strike hit a fuel station in Syria's northern province of al-Raqqa on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The British-based group, which has a network of activists across Syria, cited an activist in the region saying that more than 110 people were among the dead and wounded.
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The explosion went off in the town of Ain Issa, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the Turkish border. Witness told the Observatory that the blast was caused by an airstrike, although the group could not independently confirm the cause of the explosion.
Girl injured in Aleppo fighting (Archive photo: AFP)
Earlier this week, Amnesty International released a report saying that the Syrian government has been carrying out indiscriminate air bombardments and artillery strikes on residential areas that do not target opposition fighters or military objectives, and instead appear aimed solely at punishing civilians seen as sympathetic to rebel forces.
'Syria won't end up like Libya'
In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, Assad accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of "aiding terrorists with weapons and funds with hopes that the Libyan scenario will repeat itself." The interview is slated to be released this weekend.
"Dialogue with the opposition is the only way to deal with the crisis," he added,
noting that his government is working towards enacting reforms. "Change cannot be achieved via the deposal of leaders or through foreign intervention."
The 18-month conflict between Assad and his opponents began with peaceful protests that were attacked by government security forces, and has since evolved into a civil war. Activists say at least 23,000 people have died, many of them civilians who fell victim to the regime onslaught, although rebel factions have also been accused of summary executions and other abuses.
Roi Kais, AP and Reuters contributed to the report
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