Syrian government bombing kills 13 in rebel-held town near Damascus -monitor

Syrian Government Forces Push for Rebel-Held Areas in West Syria - Monitor
Syrian Government Forces Push for Rebel-Held Areas in West Syria - Monitor

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BEIRUT, April 23 (Reuters) - Syrian warplanes bombed the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday, killing 13 people, while aerial bombings of insurgent-controlled parts of Aleppo in the north killed or wounded at least 17, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Mediators have struggled to get combatants in Syria's five-year-old war to honor a Feb. 27 cessation of hostilities deal to enable peace talks in Geneva to proceed. Each side accuses the other of violating the truce.

The Britain-based Observatory, which monitors the Syrian war through a network of contacts, said the death toll in Douma, northeast of the capital, was expected to rise because more than 22 others were injured, some critically.

Related: Syria's truce in tatters due to recent fighting

There was also fighting near Bala southeast of Damascus between rebel groups and government forces with deaths occurring on both sides, the Observatory said.

In Aleppo, at least 17 people were injured or killed, including a child, by bombs dropped from planes in an eastern neighborhood of what was Syria's commercial hub before the civil war began in 2011. The number of those killed remained unclear, the Observatory's director said.

On Friday, the U.N. special envoy for Syria vowed to take the talks into next week despite a walkout by the main armed opposition with both sides gearing up to escalate the war. (Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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