03/28/2013, 00.00
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Mortar shell hits Damascus University killing 12, injuring dozens

A mortar round hit the Faculty of Architecture near Umayyad Square. The government accuses the rebels. Sources tell AsiaNews the war is "moving from the suburbs to the centre of the city."

Damascus (AsiaNews) - A mortar attack on Damascus University killed at least 12 students around 1 pm today, destroying the Architecture Faculty, state TV reported. Others were hurt when another mortar round hit the cafeteria. The university is located near Umayyad Square in central Damascus.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the authorities have blamed Islamic rebels. The National Students Union slammed the terrorist action for targeting university students.

The pro-regime Al-Ikhbariya TV network broadcast non-stop scenes of injured students taken to hospital as well as video filmed inside the targeted buildings.

Since the start of the week, rebels have launched an offensive against the area around Umayyad Square hitting several government buildings, including the Syrian TV building, with at least five people killed.

Sources told AsiaNews that "the war is now inside the capital. Gunfire, explosions and heavy shelling are heard every day, with the fighting moving from the suburbs to the centre of the city."

Until recently, fighting had been centred on the outskirts of Damascus, in Qaboun (northeast), Al-Yarmouk, and Daraya.


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