Damascus: Mortar Shells Cause Death and Destruction

Central Damascus was hit with a number of mortar shells on Tuesday, which killed 14 people while wounding dozens more, said state media.

The attacks across the capital of Syria came just one day after the announcement by President Bashar al-Assad that he would run for president in the election on June 3.

He likely will win easily amidst the ongoing bloody civil war that was started initially as a protest against his rule.

SANA, the official news agency announced that four shells had hit the capital city’s Shaghour neighborhood that is predominantly Shiite. The attack took place in the early morning hours and killed 14 while wounding 86.

One official at the police command in Damascus said that two of the shells landed close to a religious school. A number of students attending the classes were amongst those who were killed and wounded.

No one has yet to claim responsibility for the shelling, but rebel forces have frequently fired mortar shells into Syria’s capital city from suburbs they hold.

SANA put blame for the attack on what they called terrorists, a term the government of Assad uses to describe the rebels that are battling to oust him. Many of the neighborhoods the opposition holds around Damascus have been under a blockade for months that has crippled them. No medicines or food has been allowed in to reach civilians that are trapped there.

One human rights organization based in Britain reported the shelling saying that 17 people had been killed. The group tracks the conflict by using a group of activists in Syria and said the death toll from the attack was likely higher.

Earlier on Tuesday, an organization for international rights accused the forces of the government of targeting civilians indiscriminately and the infrastructure of civilians by using crude bombs in districts held by rebels in Aleppo to the north.

The organization identified 85 locations in the districts held by opposition forces in Aleppo that have been shelled y government aircraft with barrel bombs which are makeshift explosive devices packed with shrapnel that are rolled from helicopter bays.

The same organization also announced that it was in possession of evidence that forces from the government had fired hundreds of heavy artillery and mortar shells during a period of 40 days between February and April in Aleppo.

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