At least eight killed as mortar fire hits Damascus Christian neighbourhood
A SANA handout picture shows the devastation in the Christian suburb of Qassaa in Damascus after mortar rounds killed eight people in the capital on Sunday. (AFP/SANA)
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At least eight people were killed by mortar fire in a Christian neighbourhood of Damascus on Sunday, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.
"Three mortar shells fired by terrorists landed... in the Qassaa district, killing eight civilians and wounding 24 others," SANA said, according to Agence France Presse.
SANA's report added that another three civilians were injured when a fourth mortar shell hit Qassaa's Holy Cross church, AFP said.
Qassaa's Greek Orthodox church is one of the largest in Syria. The SANA report did not make it clear how badly damaged the church was in the attack, AFP reported.
Syrian rebel groups have set up a series of military rear bases on the outskirts of Damascus, from which they target the capital with rockets and mortar fire, according to AFP.
In late September, a mortar round hit the Iraqi consulate in Damascus, killing one woman.
Syrian troops have been fighting in and around Damascus in a bid to dislodge the rebel bases there for months, AFP reported.