Air strikes on Idlib markets 'kill dozens'


At least 44 people have been killed and dozens hurt in Syrian government air strikes on markets in two rebel-held towns in Idlib province, activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 37 died in Maarat al-Numan and another seven in nearby Kafranbel.

The monitoring group added that three children were among the victims and the death toll was expected to rise.

Escalating violence in the country in recent days has left a seven-week partial truce on the verge of collapse.

Earlier, the head of the main Syrian opposition umbrella group said it had suspended its formal participation in UN-led peace talks in Geneva in protest at alleged government violations.