Syrian artillery pound Damascus suburb forcing mass exodus

AMMAN - Syrian forces on Wednesday fired artillery and rocket barrages at the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tel in an effort to seize the town from rebels, causing mass panic and forcing hundreds of families to flee the area, residents and opposition activists said.
The 216th mechanized battalion headquartered near Tel was bombarding the town of 100,000 people at the rate of one projectile every minute, and initial reports indicate that residential apartment blocks were being hit, they said.Tel, located eight kilometers north of Damascus, fell into rebel hands last week along with several districts in the capital and on its outskirts after a bomb killed four of Syrian President Bashar Assad's top lieutenants.
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