Fighting rages in Damascus after promise of crackdown

July 18, 2012 17:13


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BEIRUT - Syrian forces hit rebel positions across the capital on Wednesday, state media said, shortly after Damascus vowed to punish those responsible for a bomb attack which killed the defense minister and President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law.

State news agency SANA said that armed forces had killed a large number of "terrorists" in the central neighborhood of Midan and clashed in the district of Qaboun.

Activists in neighborhoods that have seen fighting over the past four days said that government troops and pro-government militias were flooding in to quash rebels.

"There is a very heavy presence of security forces in the streets now," said Susan Ahmad, a resident of Barzeh where rebels have been hiding out. "Apart from Assad's forces, the streets are empty," she added.

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