BEIRUT — Syrian government aircraft struck a busy market Thursday in a rebel-held district of Aleppo, killing at least 33 people in the latest deadly attack targeting mainly civilians in the contested city, opposition activists said.
Several activists said a government helicopter dropped three crude barrel bombs that exploded in the Hillok district along a civilian-packed street lined with vegetable and meat shops. They said the attack wounded scores of people.
‘‘It was mayhem; many of the bodies are burned,’’ said Hasson Abu Faisal, an activist in Aleppo.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said activists affiliated with the group counted at least 33 people dead in Thursday’s attack. The local Aleppo Media Center put the toll at 44.
Activists said Hillok district has rarely been hit by government airstrikes in the past six months, leading many from neighboring, less safe areas to move there.
‘‘It is a very densely populated area,’’ said Abu Faisal. He said some of the shops on the 1-mile- long street sold gallons of fuel for electrical generators, which apparently caught fire after the bombing.