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Middle East

Deadly fighting rages on across Syria

At least 63 people are reported killed in Tuesday's clashes, including 41 in Damascus.
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2012 09:45
Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reports on how residents in Aleppo are coping with the fighting

Syrian army tanks have shelled a refugee camp and two nearby districts in southern Damascus as battles raged and warplanes bombarded a rebel-held northwestern town, a rights group said.

The tanks were deployed at the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk on Wednesday morning, as well as the nearby districts of Tadamun and Assali, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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Both Yarmouk and Tadamun were scene of battles between the army and rebels late on Tuesday, the rights group said.

On Tuesday, fierce battles and army shelling in and around Damascus have killed at least 41 people, mostly civilians, as warplanes launch more air raids on a town on the Turkish border, according to media reports.

"Several army units are fighting with armed terrorist groups near the Othman mosque in the [Damascus] neighbourhood of Tadamun," Syrian state television said on Tuesday.

A car bomb, meanwhile, struck the town of Ain al-Fijeh, west of the capital, "injuring a number of people and causing widespread material damage," state media reported.

The Observatory also reported the car bomb, but neither source gave details on casualties.

Fighting in the Eastern Ghuta area, east of Damascus, cost the lives of at least 10 soldiers and a rebel, after rebel forces attacked public buildings in the area, the Observatory said.

The army used tanks to shell several towns east of the capital, including Harasta, Zabadani and Irbin, killing at least seven civilians including an unknown number of women and children, the Observatory said.

The army also shelled rebel positions in the southern province of Deraa, in the central province of Homs, in Idlib in the northwest and in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Observatory.

There are few civilians left in the most dangerous districts of Aleppo, our correspondent Andrew Simmons said. 

"Those who remain, even children, run for their lives every day. They are used to the sound of bullets whistling by," Simmons reported.

"You can see it in their eyes, in their expressions: they've given up on calling for help from America, from the rest of the West, from the Arab states."

Border violence

The Syrian Observatory also reported fresh air raids on Ras al-Ain, in northeastern Syria on the border with Turkey, and said 1,000 government troops had been sent to the town.

Syrian rebels have been firing heavy machine guns at military jets in the embattled border town. Rebels claimed Ras al-Ain last week prompting an offensive from Assad's forces.

Air strikes have sent a new wave of civilians pouring into Turkey, adding to the 9,000 refugees who fled late last week when rebels overran the town, an AFP photographer said.

"Ras al-Ain is deserted now, it is a ghost town," said the Observatory.

The latest refugee movements into Turkey have been some of the largest since the conflict began.

At least 63 people were killed on Tuesday across Syria - 29 civilians, 11 soldiers and 23 rebels - said the Observatory, which relies for its information on a network of activists, lawyers and medics.

Among those killed was Abdel Razzaq al-Yusef, a transport official assassinated by unidentified armed men in the northwestern province of Idlib, said the Observatory.

The watchdog has given an overall death toll of more than 37,000 since the anti-regime revolt broke out in March 2011.

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