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Violence keeps escalating momentum in Syria

from:English.news.cn2012-11-08 15:15

DAMASCUS, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The daily grind of violence kept its escalating momentum on Wednesday with fresh blasts and clashes that have sent people on edge.

The capital Damascus woke up Wednesday morning to the rattling sound of multiple mortar shells fired by the armed rebels and struck the al-Mazzeh-86 district, killing three people and injuring other seven.

Hours later, a video appeared online claimed to show the rebels while firing the mortars from portable rocket launchers at the nearby Kafar-Suseh orchards. The rebels have been trying to hit the presidential palace, which is located on a mountain that overlook Damascus and close to the Mazzeh 86 area, but the mortars hit instead the al-Mazzeh area and sent plumes of smokes spiraling up in the sky.

The neighborhood is dominated by people from the Alawitte minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to which President Bashar al-Assad and the ruling elite belong.

The area was hit a couple of days ago with the blast of a booby- trapped car that killed at least 11 people.

The explosions' rate has surged recently across the country, most notably in Damascus as bombing incidents have grabbed the headlines of the local media.

Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halki visited on Wednesday the blast site in al-Mazzeh and pledged that the restoration process will soon start.

"The terrorists' crimes will not dissuade us from our stances and this battle is drawing to a close," he was cited by the state- media as saying.

Also on Wednesday, multiple mortars were fired by armed militias and hit the surrounding of the Syrian cabinet building in Kafar-Suseh area, close to the orchards from which the rebels are waging their attacks.

Sources said that the building hadn't been damaged, but reported slight material damages to a nearby tailoring shop.

Meantime, an explosive device tore through a judges' car in the Damascus' district of Barzeh on Wednesday and killed him instantly, Syria's state-media said.

In the northern province of Idilb, an explosive device hidden in a garbage bin near a public bakery exploded on Wednesday and left one person killed and a injured a child, whose medical condition is critical, reports said.

Aside from the blasts, intense clashes continued Wednesday to rock several hotspots nationwide, most notably in suburbs of the capital Damascus, where the echoes of shelling and gunfire reverberated across many districts.

The clashes in Damascus were reported to have occurred in the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, Tadamun, al-Hajar al-Aswad among many others amid state-media reports that the army has eliminated many armed rebels.

Meanwhile, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) held Qatar responsible for the killing of eight of its members whom, it said, had been killed by the rebels Syrian Free Army (FSA) on Wednesday.

In a statement, the PFLP-GC said that the FSA had kidnapped the eight people from the Yarmouk camp on Wednesday, executed them and mutilated their bodies.

It added that Qatar shoulders the full responsibility for their murder "as it renders funding and weapons to terrorist group and works insistently to thrust the Palestinian camps in the Syrian crisis."

For its side, Syria's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that the Syrian administration would "firmly" stand against any attempt to thrust the Palestinian refugees in Syria in the current crisis.

The ministry's remarks have come amid daily reports of clashes between local Palestinian committees and the armed rebels in Palestinian camps in the capital Damascus.

In the statement, the ministry said that the "armed terrorist groups" have over the past few days increased their terrorist acts against the Palestinian camps in Damascus and the southern province of Daraa, adding that those attacks have claimed the lives of innocent Palestinians.

"Syria has never hesitated in offering financial and human sacrifices for the Palestinians in order to attain their legitimate rights," said the statement.

The ministry urged all Palestinian groups to get away from what the armed groups are planning to carry out.

During the 20-month-old crisis, Syrian-born Palestinian refugees have found themselves caught in the middle of the conflict after trying for long to distance themselves from the bloody quagmire.

On the opposition side, meanwhile, activists reported a huge blast in the southern Damascus' suburb of al-Qadam late time on Wednesday but stopped short of giving further details.

Activists also reported shelling by the government troops' shelling on rebels' stronghold in the southern suburbs of Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that as many as 127 people had been killed by the violence Wednesday. It said the death toll includes 65 civilians while the rest are divided between rebels and government troops.

Still, the activists' reports couldn't be checked independently.

More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly died in Syria since the country's crisis began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria's neighboring countries -- Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, according to UN estimates.

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