At least 19 children and 12 women were killed Monday in a barrage of US-led air strikes on Islamic State group territory in the Syrian city of Raqqa, a monitor said.
The toll marked the second consecutive day of ferocious bombardment on Raqqa, more than half of which has been captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces battling IS, Punch reports.
Following Monday’s strikes, 167 civilians have been reportedly killed since August 14.
“The tolls are high because the air strikes are hitting neighbourhoods in the city centre that are densely packed with civilians,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
“There are buildings full of civilians that are trying to get away from the front lines. Coalition air strikes are targeting any building where any kind of Daesh movements are being detected,” he said.
The United Nations estimates there are up to 25,000 civilians still trapped inside the city, with food and fuel supplies short and prohibitively expensive.
The UN’s humanitarian for Syria, Jan Egeland, has said IS-held territory in Raqqa city is now “the worst place” in the war-torn country.
The US-led coalition, which operates in both Syria and neighbouring Iraq, says it takes all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties.
In August, it acknowledged the deaths of 624 civilians in its strikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014, but rights groups say the number is much higher.