Syrian warplanes carried out a wave of airstrikes in the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, activists said, in rare attacks that coincided with a visit by a UN envoy to Damascus on Thursday.

In the country’s south, helicopters dropped barrel bombs that struck a busy marketplace, killing at least 17 people. An activist in the rebel-held Bosra Sham said the explosives were dropped as the market was packed with shoppers and people buying necessities for children who go back to school this week.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, he said around 24 people were killed and many others wounded, with many of them in critical condition. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 17. Such discrepancies are common in the aftermath of large bombings.

Two Syria-based groups as well as the Observatory said earlier Thursday that warplanes carried out at least 12 airstrikes across the ISIS-held city of Raqqa in northern Syria. They reported casualties but had no specific figures. It was not immediately clear what was hit.

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