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Syrian warplanes bomb Damascus suburbs

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 21, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.

— Syrian warplanes bombed Damascus suburbs and rebel-held areas in the country’s north Wednesday as the government blasted the European Union for endorsing a newly formed opposition coalition.

The raids struck several eastern suburbs of the Syrian capital and the strategic northern city of Maaret al-Numan, a key supply route linking Damascus and the commercial hub of Aleppo, said two activist groups.

Both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees also reported violence elsewhere in Syria.

The state-run news agency, SANA, said the army continued its pursuit of “terrorists” — a government term for rebel fighters — in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen, inflicting casualties on the enemy. The report also said that attackers targeted a mosque in Daraya suburb.

Syria’s conflict broke out in March 2011 with an uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime, inspired by other Arab Spring revolts. The crisis has since morphed into a civil war, with scores of rebel groups across the country fighting government troops. Nearly 40,000 people have been killed in the 20 months of unrest, according to activists.

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