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Syrian fighter jets bombard Damascus suburbs
October 28, 2012 11:11
UN-brokered ceasefire does little to stem violence across country; large explosions, plumes of smoke in Syrian capital.
Wreckage after car bomb in Damascus [file]

Damascus car bomb 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Syrian fighter jets bombarded suburbs of eastern Damascus on Sunday, continuing the air raids launched on Sunni Muslim neighborhoods in the capital since a UN-brokered ceasefire was supposed to begin two days ago, opposition activists said.

There were large explosions and huge plumes of smoke as Russian-made warplanes hit the adjacent suburbs of Zamalka, Irbin, Harasta and Zamalka, they said.

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A statement by the Harasta Media Office, an activists' organization, said electricity, water and communications had been cut and dozens of wounded at the Harasta National Hospital had been moved as the bombardment closed in.

Activists also reported fighting in the suburb of Douma to the northeast, where Free Syrian Army fighters have been attacking roadblocks

Damascus is ringed by Sunni districts that have played a major role in the 19-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad.

Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated majority-Sunni Syria since the 1960s, when Alawite officers assumed control of a military junta that had taken power in a coup.

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called for a ceasefire that began on paper on Friday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha, hoping to build momentum to end a conflict in which an estimated 32,000 people have been killed.

Hamas leaders killed in Syria

Syrian forces shot and killed two Hamas leaders in the Deraa refugee camp on Saturday, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported citing Palestinian sources.

The report identified the victims as Ahmad Khalil Khalil and Ahmad al-Kharoubi, and stated that their bodies lay in the street for several hours before being collected by ambulances.

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