Victims in Douma
Photo: AFP
Bloody day leaves 83 dead in Syria
Another day of violence in Damascus leaves scores dead. Opposition activists say Assad's forces fired mortar shells into funeral procession killing 30

At least 83 people were killed, mostly civilians, in violence across Syria on Saturday, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma as regime forces stormed the town in Damascus province, monitors said.


In the single most serious incident, mortar fire killed 30 civilians who were attending a funeral in the town of Zamalka, six miles east of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said.


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The Observatory did not give any further details on the Zamalka incident but published two videos from people on the ground.


The first showed several dozen people, mostly men waving Syrian revolutionary flags and shouting slogans as they accompanied the funeral cortege, when the picture was interrupted by an explosion.


Funeral in Damascus (Photo: AFP)


The second, which could not be confirmed as being shot at the same scene, showed people running away from a cloud of dust that gradually dissipated to show numerous bodies lying on the ground.


Meanwhile, the Observatory urged the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to "urgently send medical teams" to Douma.


"The security forces have seized control of the main hospital in Douma," the Observatory said. "There are no doctors in the town, though dozens of wounded need urgent care."


The Britain-based monitoring group warned of a "catastrophic humanitarian situation" in the city, which "has been subjected to a fierce military campaign since June 21."


Douma has seen frequent fighting between rebels and troops in recent months.


The watchdog also reported fierce clashes in the capital itself and the suburbs of Damascus, with regime troops using helicopters to shell several neighbourhoods on Saturday.


Elsewhere, the army shelled Rastan in the central province of Homs, the watchdog said, adding that the town has been under rebel control since February.


Meanwhile, an explosion rocked the Qaboon district of Damascus, the Observatory said, and a blast hit the country's second city Aleppo in the north. No casualties were reported.


Another blast hit an oil pipeline in a rebel-held area of the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.


The latest violence came amid fierce countrywide clashes and a day after 75 people were killed nationwide.


More than 15,800 people have been killed in violence since an anti-regime uprising broke out in March 2011, the Observatory said.


The Syrian authorities severely restrict the media, making it extremely difficult to verify such reports. Activists film attacks by government forces who have been trying for 16 months to crush an uprising against President Bashar Assad.


The United Nations has said more than 10,000 people have been killed by Assad's forces, while Syria has said at least 2,600 members of the military and security forces have been killed by what it calls foreign-backed "Islamist terrorists."


  • Reuters contributed to this report



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