Rebels shell pro-Assad district in Damascus

Rebels shell pro-Assad district in Damascus

Rebels shell pro-Assad district in Damascus

Free Syrian Army fighters walk on rubble from damaged buildings in Juret al-Shayah in Homs. At least 32 people have been killed across the country. REUTERS Photo

Syrian rebels shelled a key area of Damascus home to President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority, embassies and government buildings yesterday, as they stepped up attacks on his power base.

The shelling of Mazzeh 86 district came a day after a car bomb hit another Alawite area in the suburb of Qudsaya, Agence France-Presse reported.

State news agency SANA reported that shelling had hit a home and mini-bus carrying passengers in Mazzeh 86, which lies beneath al-Assad’s hilltop presidential palace, killing at least three civilians.

 Fighting raged and air strikes hit in other parts of the country, while SANA reported that a judge was killed when a car bomb exploded outside his home in the northeast of Damascus. In a preliminary toll, an activist group said at least 32 people had been killed across Syria yesterday.

Rebels killed 10 members of a Palestinian militant faction loyal to al-Assad yesterday in fighting near a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, Reuters quoted opposition sources as saying. Clashes between rebels and the Popular for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) have escalated this week in “Street 30” and the Hajar al-Aswad area near Yarmouk, a camp inhabited by 150,000 Palestinians and as many Syrians.