A Russian air strike killed 38 civilians on Wednesday as they tried to cross the Euphrates river to escape fighting in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, a monitor said.

A Russian air strike killed 38 civilians on Wednesday as they tried to cross the Euphrates river to escape fighting in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said nine children were among those killed as they tried to cross the river aboard rafts, escaping from areas where Russian-backed regime forces are battling the Islamic State group.

The monitor, which earlier gave a toll of 20 in the strikes, said the dead included an Iraqi family.

Deir Ezzor borders Iraq and civilians have fled into the province to escape the battles against IS in their own country.

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