Rebel shelling reportedly kills 6 children in Syria

By PATRICK J. MCDONNELL AND NABIH BULOS | Los Angeles Times | Published: April 4, 2014

BEIRUT — Mortar shells fired by rebels killed six children and injured 16 others Thursday in and around Damascus, the Syrian capital, according to Syria’s official news agency.

Rebels based in the capital’s outskirts frequently fire mortar shells into the city, which is under tight security. The recent rise in strikes on the capital comes after a relative lull in such attacks earlier in the year.

Government officials condemn the mortar fire as indiscriminate. Commanders of forces opposing President Bashar Assad say the attacks target only military, police and government installations.

A pro-opposition monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed that mortar shells fell Thursday in various parts of Damascus and its suburbs. The group provided no casualty figures.

Thursday’s attack, the state media said, involved four shells that fell in the Dakhaniyeh district, east of the Old City and adjacent to Jaramana, a loyalist suburb often targeted by rebel shelling and car bombs.

The official media provided no details on how the six children were killed. Five other civilians were wounded in the same strikes, the reports said.

Also Thursday, state media reported, 11 people were injured in four separate mortar attacks in other districts of the capital and its suburbs.

On Wednesday, the official state news service reported that mortar strikes killed 13 civilians, including four children, nationwide.


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