Assault on Damascus launched again

Dozens of bodies found across the province

Government forces shelled the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital on Friday, while soldiers stormed a nearby town and dozens of bodies were found across the province, witnesses and a rights group said.

Witnesses told AFP that the southern suburb of Tadamun and neighbouring Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk came under heavy heavy shelling.

On the outskirts of Damascus, government troops stormed the town of Babila, where Free Syrian Army rebels were entrenched, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In another grisly find of the almost 18-month conflict, residents recovered a total of 45 bodies in two towns on the outskirts of Damascus, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

It said at least 23 bodies, including those of women and children, were found in the eastern suburb of Zamalka on Thursday, while another 22 were discovered in Qatana in the countryside southeast of the capital.

Zamalka has been a hotbed of anti-government protests, sparking repeated raids by the army and clashes with rebel fighters.

Opposition activists blamed pro-government forces for the killings in Zamalka, accusing President Bashar al-Assad's regime of a "new massacre."

On Friday, the bodies of 16 men were found in Harasta, also in Damascus province, some of them with signs of having been tortured, the Observatory said, adding that at least 14 people were killed in violence early on Friday.

Two children were killed in shelling in the town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border while two rebel fighters were killed by mortar fire in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, it said.

A raid by security forces on Al-Qazzaz district of southeast Damascus, in which troops rounded up dozens of suspected militants, sparked clashes with rebel fighters, the group added.

A total of at least 153 people were killed in violence across Syria on Thursday -- 83 civilians, 24 rebels and 46 soldiers, the Observatory said.

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