Mortars pound Damascus neighborhood
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Mortars pound Damascus neighborhood

Six shells fall in Alawite area during morning rush hour; casualties and damage reported

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian official says six mortar shells have struck a neighborhood in the Syrian capital Damascus, causing damage and casualties.

The official says the mortars hit the predominantly Alawite district of  Damascus during morning rush hour Sunday, the first day of the work week in Syria. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief reporters.

Alawites, including President Bashar Assad, are followers of an offshoot of Shiite Islam, and have dominated the government under Assad family rule. Rebels trying to oust Assad are fighting with regime forces in parts of Damascus, and have fired mortars at neighborhoods seen as pro-Assad.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group, confirmed that mortars struck Mazzeh 86, but said it had no immediate reports of casualties.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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