Syria Opposition Says 69 Die as Assad Troops Enter Suburb

At least 69 people died during six days of clashes between rebel forces and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a Damascus suburb, the founder of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today.

The dead have been identified by the group and include six women and three people under 18, Rami Abdel Rahman said in an interview from Coventry, England. Abdel Rahman said the Observatory is seeking to identify 11 more bodies.

The casualties occurred as government troops sought to drive rebels out of the suburb of Jdaidet Al-Fadel, Abdel Rahman said.

The official SANA news agency said today the troops have carried out several “operations against terrorists and their dens” in Jdaidet Al-Fadel and Darayya, inflicting losses and destroying their weapons. The opposition Local Coordination Committees said yesterday that government forces killed more than 450 people in Jdaidet Al-Fadel, mostly women and children. Reporters cannot reach the area, making it impossible to reconcile or check the casualty figures.

The uprising against Assad, which began in March 2011, has killed more than 70,000 people, according to United Nations estimates.

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