DAMASCUS ــ At least 13 people were killed after army forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad pounded the city of Duma in the eastern suburbs of Damascus in southern Syria with heavy artillery, local sources reported on Saturday.
Speaking to ARA News in Duma, rights activist Yasser Fistaqi confirmed that at least 13 civilians were killed in the city of Duma eastern Ghouta near Syria’s capital Damascus, including a child and two women, while dozens more wounded after the pro-regime army forces targeted the popular market in the city with heavy weapons.
The injured were transferred to nearby field hospitals.
“The regime’s army has systematically attacked the market crowded with civilians with artillery shells and rockets, without taking into account the presence of children, women and elderly people in the area,” Fistaqi reported.
Assad’s forces, which have stationed in the areas surrounding Duma, targeted the district of the eastern Ghouta with artillery shells and rocket launchers, according to the same source.
Eyewitnesses told ARA News that a state of panic prevailed among the residents of Duma as a result of the continued bombardment launched by pro-regime army forces.
Meanwhile, rebel groups that are in control of Duma called on the people, through mosques’ loudspeakers, to hide in shelters after Saturday’s massacre.
The city of Duma has been relatively calm during the past few days before the regime’s last use of heavy weapons. However, Syrian army troops have launched dozens of artillery shells and conducted several airstrikes on residential areas despite the fragile truce that came into force on February 17.
The truce has been on the verge of collapse after opposition delegation suspended on Friday their participation in Geneva talks.
More than 280,000 people have been killed over five years of conflict in Syria, amid mounting refugee crisis in the region and Europe caused by the ongoing war.
Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa
Source: ARA News
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