At least 23 dead in air strikes near Damascus

March 31, 2016 18:51

BEIRUT - At least 23 people were killed and dozens wounded in Syrian government air strikes on a rebel-held suburb of Damascus on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

The strikes killed at least four children and some civil defense personnel in the town of Deir al-Asafir in Eastern Ghouta, where around 2,700 families live, the British-based Observatory said.

"All through the ceasefire clashes have continued in Eastern Ghouta and regime forces have advanced...they are now less than 2 km from the Deir al-Asafir area," Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman said. "They are trying to surround Deir al-Asafir."

A temporary truce introduced over a month ago has greatly reduced violence in Syria but it excludes groups such as Islamic State and the al Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

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