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You're reading: Syrian troops attack rebel areas around Damascus

BEIRUT — Anti-regime activists say government forces are shelling a number of neighborhoods in and around the capital Damascus a day after a bomb killed three members of President Bashar Assad's inner circle.

The
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported shelling in
number of areas Thursday. It says residents are fleeing parts of the
Mezzeh neighborhood after troops surrounded it and clashed with local
rebels.

The group says rebels damaged one helicopter and disabled three military vehicles.

Wednesday’s
bombing targeted a high-level crisis meeting, killing the defense
minister, his deputy, who is Assad’s brother-in-law, and a former
defense minister. Other officials were wounded.

The whereabouts of Assad, his wife and his three young children remain unknown.

The attack could mark a turning point in Syria’s 16-month crisis.

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