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Mortar attack kills at least 4 near Syrian capital


09:01, April 03, 2013

DAMASCUS, April 2 (Xinhua) -- At least four people, including two kids, were killed Tuesday when armed groups fired a mortar shell that landed at a town near the Syrian capital Damascus, the state-run TV reported.

The shell slammed the victims' house at Mukailabieh town in the countryside of Damascus, the report said.

However, activists' groups waved off the state media's account, saying the victims were killed during an overnight shelling on the town.

In the meantime, three mortar shells landed Tuesday at al-Fayha 'a orchards in central Damascus, leaving injuries along with material damages, according to pro-government media.

For its part, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Tuesday reported violent clashes in the Damascus' district of Barzeh, noting that the clashes have resulted in losses on both sides.

The Observatory also reported intense fighting in the Damascus' suburb of Jobar, where the state-media said earlier that the army was advancing in that troublesome area.

Mortar attacks have become daily occurrences recently, as rebels have increasingly resorted to such attacks against government institutions. Yet, those mortars seldom reached their targets and instead landed on residential buildings, causing casualties and spreading panic.

Syria blames "terrorists" for the strikes that are relatively new in the capital, which seems still far from being plagued by violence that hits other parts of the country. In return, opposition activists said the government tries to play the Damascenes against the rebels.

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