Death toll from market attack in Damascus rises to 38

BEIRUT — The death toll from an insurgent mortar assault on a market in Damascus rises to 38, state media says Wednesday, making it one of the deadliest attacks in the capital since the start of the seven-year civil war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll from Tuesday’s attack even higher, at 43, including 11 pro-government fighters. Videos of the aftermath posted online show scenes of chaos, with people screaming and bodies and mannequins strewn across the ground.

The government blames the attack on rebels in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs, where Syrian troops backed by Russian warplanes have been waging a major offensive over the past month.

Mohammed Haitham al-Husseini, director of the hospital in Damascus, tells Al-Ikhbariya that 35 others were wounded in the mortar attack, with six in intensive care. He says most of the casualties were women and children.

— AP

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