Sep 9, 2012

Clashes Across Syria Kill 28

Syrian troops have bombarded a string of districts in the northern city of Aleppo and launched attacks across the country as 28 people were killed nationwide in clashes and shelling, a watchdog says.

Shelling in Aleppo destroyed houses in the Midan district, a regime bastion that rebels have been trying to seize from their stronghold in Bustan al-Basha since Saturday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The bombardment of Bustan al-Basha has stopped but could start up again any time," a resident told AFP, after a day of fierce clashes.

A main water pipe in Bustan al-Basha was destroyed on Saturday, either by air strikes or the fighting, according to the Britain-based watchdog, while residents reported severe water shortages in the city.

The governor of Aleppo province, Mohammed Akkad, blamed "terrorists" for breaking the Midan water main as well as two other pipelines in Suleiman al-Halabi district.

"Maintenance crews are in the process of repairing them and we hope that the water will return Sunday," he told pro-regime daily Al-Watan.

Meanwhile, the Observatory reported at least two peopled killed in Hanano after heavy shelling hit a building in the eastern Aleppo neighbourhood, while clashes broke out in the adjacent district of Sakhur. The nearby neighbourhoods of Tariq al-Bab and Shaar were also shelled.

In Damascus, clashes broke out at the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp as troops bombarded the adjacent Tadamun district in the southeast, and the nearby suburbs of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and Sayyida Zeinab, the Observatory said.

An activist video posted to YouTube showed plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky in the south of the capital, purportedly from a massive fire that broke out in Tadamun during shelling attacks.

Shelling was also reported in northwestern Idlib province, in central Homs province, and in the southern province of Daraa where seven soldiers were killed in an ambush by rebels at a military checkpoint, the Observatory said.

In Homs two bombs blew up a bus carrying civilians and troops, killing at least four people and wounding dozens more.

At least 1267 people have been killed since September 1, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by phone.

More than 27,000 people have been killed the uprising began in March last year, according to the Observatory, which collects its data from a network of activists, medical sources and others on the ground.


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