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Damascus Suburbs Hit by Intense Shelling, Opposition Says

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Syrian government forces shelled several Damascus suburbs today, opposition groups said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops closed all roads leading to Abasiyeen Square in the capital as the sound of explosions shook the area, the Damascus Media Office said on its Facebook page. The state-run SANA news agency said government forces inflicted casualties on “armed terrorist gangs” in several areas of the capital, destroying their “dens” and arms depots.

At least 11 people have died so far today in the suburbs of Damascus, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on its Facebook page. In Tadmur, site of the ancient city of Palmyra, a suicide bomber blew up his car at a military intelligence complex, killing 19 intelligence personnel, the Observatory said.

International and regional efforts have failed to end almost two years of bloodshed in Syria. At least 60,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising began March 2011, according to estimates by the United Nations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net