AMMAN - Syrian army helicopters bombed a refugee camp along the Jordanian border on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people, mostly children and women, residents and opposition activists said.

They said the army dropped several barrel bombs - highly destructive improvised explosives, use of which has been condemned by Western powers as a war crime - on the camp in the village of Shajra, 2 km (1 mile) from the Jordanian border.

"Women were wailing hysterically as they saw their dead children lying on the floor," said Abu Mohammad al-Hourani, a farmer in the village who said he had helped to remove bodies after the dawn raid.

Hundreds of families who fled intensified fighting between rebels and the army in recent months in parts of southern Syria had taken shelter in the border town.

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