Sep 3, 2012 / 9:44 am
Government warplanes bombed a town in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 19 people, activists said, while the new U.N. envoy to the country acknowledged that brokering an end to the nation's civil war will be a "very, very difficult" task.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said the airstrikes targeted a residential area in the northern town of al-Bab, about 30 kilometres from the Turkish border.
The Observatory said 19 people were killed in the air raid; the LCC put the death toll at 25.
Syrian's uprising began in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad's regime, but has since morphed into a civil war in the face of a brutal government crackdown.
Activists say at least 23,000 people have been killed so far.
The violence has escalated in recent months, and activist groups said Sunday that some 5,000 people were killed in August alone, the highest ever reported in more than 17 months of bloodshed.
Syrian officials said a bomb attached to a taxi blew up Monday in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, killing five people and wounding 23.
Activists, meanwhile, reported scattered violence in regions across the country, including the capital's suburbs, the region of Deir el-Zour in the east, Daraa in the south and Idlib and Aleppo in the north.
The LCC and the Observatory said more than 100 people were killed Monday.
Diplomatic efforts, including a six-point peace plan by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to solve the seemingly intractable conflict have failed so far.
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