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Mortars Kill 14, Wound Scores in Damascus: Report

The official SANA news agency blamed the attacks on terrorists — a term used by Bashar Assad's government for rebels fighting to oust him.
/ Source: Associated Press

Four mortar shells exploded on Tuesday in central Damascus, killing 14 people and wounding scores, state media said.

The attacks in the Syrian capital come a day after President Bashar Assad announced his candidacy for the June 3 presidential elections, a race he is likely to win amid a raging civil war that initially started as an uprising against his rule.

The official SANA news agency said four shells struck in the capital's Shaghour neighborhood on Tuesday morning. State TV said 14 people were killed in the attacks and 86 were injured.

An official at the Damascus Police Command told The Associated Press that two of the mortar shells hit a school complex. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Rebels have frequently fired mortars into the capital from opposition-held suburbs. SANA blamed the attacks on terrorists — a term used by Assad's government for rebels fighting to oust him.

Many of the opposition-held neighborhoods around Damascus have been under a crippling government blockade for months with no food and medicine allowed to reach trapped civilians inside.

- The Associated Press
Syrian security forces stand next to the remains of a mortar as they inspect a parking lot outside the Badr al-Din al-Hussein Institute on April 29 after mortar shells slammed into the al-Shaghur neighborhood of Damascus. The attack killed at least 14 people and wounded 86, state media reported.AFP - Getty Images