November 5, 2012 / 7:51 AM / 5 years ago

Assad's army bombards Damascus after rebel attacks -activists

AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army bombarded rebel strongholds in southern Damascus on Monday with artillery and from the air, hours after opposition fighters attacked a militia loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, opposition activists said.

At least eight people were killed and dozens wounded in the bombardment, after 20 people were killed by army shelling overnight, they said.

Warplanes fired rockets and tanks and artillery pounded the neighborhoods of Sbeineh, Yalda, Bibla, al-Tadamun and Hajar a-Aswad on Monday, the activists said.

The working-class Sunni Muslim neighborhoods have been at the forefront of the 19-month-old revolt against Assad, whose Alawite faith derives from Shi‘ite Islam.

Rebel Free Syrian Army fighters attacked a pro-Assad militia in the southern neighborhood of Nisreen overnight, an area mainly populated by members of Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

Rebels also hit positions belonging to the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), an Assad proxy, in the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.

At least seven PFLP-GC members were killed in the fighting, and ambulances were seen taking dozens of casualties from Nisreen to a nearby hospital, activists in the area said.

Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Pravin Char

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