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Syrian fighter jets bombard suburbs of eastern Damascus

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Sun, 28 Oct 2012 08:58 GMT
Author: Reuters
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AMMAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Syrian fighter jets bombarded suburbs of eastern Damascus on Sunday, continuing the air raids launched on Sunni Muslim neighbourhoods in the capital since a U.N.-brokered ceasefire was supposed to begin two days ago, opposition activists said.

There were large explosions and huge plumes of smoke as Russian-made warplanes hit the adjacent suburbs of Zamalka, Irbin, Harasta and Zamalka, they said.

A statement by the Harasta Media Office, an activists' organisation, said electricity, water and communications had been cut and dozens of wounded at the Harasta National Hospital had been moved as the bombardment closed in.

Activists also reported fighting in the suburb of Douma to the northeast, where Free Syrian Army fighters have been attacking roadblocks

Damascus is ringed by Sunni districts that have played a major role in the 19-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated majority-Sunni Syria since the 1960s, when Alawite officers assumed control of a military junta that had taken power in a coup.

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called for a ceasefire that began on paper on Friday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, hoping to build momentum to end a conflict in which an estimated 32,000 people have been killed.

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