LONDON - Civilians, including many children, are the main victims of indiscriminate Syrian army bombing and shelling of areas abandoned to opposition forces, Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday.

The London-based international human rights group said its first-hand field investigations had revealed a pattern of relentless attacks by Syrian President Bashar Assad's military on territory lost to rebels in the north of the country.

It reported in a briefing paper that in the first half of September, 166 civilians, including 48 children and 20 women, had been killed and hundreds wounded in 26 towns and villages in the Idlib, Jabal al-Zawiya and north Hama regions.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's Senior Crisis Response Adviser, said the "horrors" in this area had been under-reported because global attention had been focused on fighting in the capital Damascus and the country's biggest city Aleppo.

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