Rebels Shell Damascus Despite 48-Hour Truce

Rebels Shell Damascus Despite 48-Hour TruceRebels Shell Damascus Despite 48-Hour Truce

At least one person was killed in a barrage of rebel rocket fire on the Syrian capital Damascus on Wednesday, state media reported, after Syria’s warring factions declared a 48-hour ceasefire in a frontline area late on Tuesday.

The ceasefire was introduced to halt fighting between rebels and the Syrian Army and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies in the rebel-held town of Zabadani and in a pair of Shia Muslim villages in Idlib Province, AFP reported.

“A number of citizens, including a woman, were killed and others were injured ... by terrorist shelling of residential neighborhoods in Damascus,” state television said in a breaking news alert.

It also reported material damage in the heavy rocket fire, but gave no further details on casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said more than 50 missiles were fired at several central neighborhoods, killing at least one person.

The group, which relies on a network of sources on the ground, said at least 20 people were injured, with some left in serious condition.

Rebels often fire into the Syrian capital from rear bases on the outskirts of Damascus, including at times barrages of hundreds of missiles.

Rights groups have condemned indiscriminate rebel rocket fire into the capital as amounting to war crimes.

The Syrian military, backed by Hezbollah, launched an offensive last month to clear Zabadani of rebel fighters, the last bastion of insurgents along the Syria-Lebanon frontier.

Now in its fifth year, the Syrian civil war has killed more than 240,000 people and displaced millions of civilians.