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Syrian troops shell Damascus suburbs; 12 killed
Activists say Syrian government troops have shelled Damascus suburbs, killing at least 12
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) ' Activists say Syrian government troops have shelled suburbs of the capital Damascus, killing at least 12 people.

Most of the deaths occurred overnight in the suburb of Douma, where regime forces fired mortars that struck a residential building, killing eight people.

Douma-based activist Mohammed Saeed and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that four people were killed in the shelling of Arbeen and Tall suburbs.

The shelling is part of a stepped-up regime offensive on rebel areas around the country. It has been one of the most serious escalations in violence since international envoy Kofi Annan brokered a peace plan that now seems to be disintegrating.

The regime and the opposition have ignored a cease-fire that was supposed to go into effect on April 12.

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