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Syria: Violence rattles Damascus neighborhoods

18 June 2012, 15:17

 Damascus - Clashes have been renewed in two neighborhoods in Damascus, the capital of Syria, following a night thick with tensions, reports said.

In the suburb of Douma, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said the government troops shelled a neighbourhood behind Douma's hospital, alleging that unspecified number of people have been killed.

Witnesses said that the situation in Douma was very serious, with the neighbourhood being the stage for armed confrontation between the armed rebels and the government troops over the past months.

Earlier in the day, a video posted online by armed rebels showed a military bus riddled with bullets and eight soldiers laid on the ground amid pools of blood.

A man, apparently from the rebel Free Syrian Army, said that the soldiers were killed in a "qualitative" operation in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Sunday.

He added "this will be the destiny of whoever sides with (President) Assad's criminal army."

In al-Mazzeh neighbourhood of Damascus, clashes also erupted in the al-Razi orchards area, which is also a scene of armed confrontation between the rebels and the government troops.

The 15-month-old crisis in Syria has evolved into an ugly conflict laden with revenge crimes, execution-style killings, and grisly murders with both sides of the conflict blaming each other for the escalation of violence.

During Sunday night, a number of neighborhoods in the capital witnessed several clashes and chaotic incidents, whose circumstances remain murky.

Meanwhile, state-run SANA news agency said Syrian forces foiled at dawn Monday a number of infiltration attempts from Lebanon on the outskirts of Talkalakh, adding that the "terrorists" used loudspeakers to call for ambulances from the Lebanese side to rescue the injured.
SANA said the infiltration attempts took place in al-Armoutah, Hallat and Edleen areas.
An armed group opened fire at a vehicle carrying eggs and abducted five workers on board as the vehicle was passing by the town of Tal Mnin in Damascus outskirts on Sunday, SANA said.

On Sunday, head of the UN observer mission Maj. Gen. Robert Mood called on all sides of the Syrian conflict to reconsider positions and to take immediate actions to ease the pain of the Syrian people, who are victims of the violence.

A day earlier, Mood announced that he has decided to suspend the patrols of his 300-member team, citing spiralling violence in restive areas.

The observers have been deployed in Syria since April 20, a week after the six-point plan sponsored by the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan went into effect, and their deployment was believed to be the only workable item of the plan aimed at ending the violence in Syria.

Mood accused both the government and the opposition of lacking the genuine will to push for a political settlement.

The UN estimates that over 9,000 people have died in Syria's 15- month-old unrest, while the Syrian authorities said they are fighting foreign-backed armed groups and over 2,000 troops were killed during the attacks on government establishments.


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