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Clashes hit Syrian capital for a second day

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 7, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.

— Syrian troops and rebels clashed again Thursday in the capital, Damascus, a day after what activists described as the heaviest fighting in months in President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The clashes were inching closer to the heart of the city, but still were focused in outlying neighborhoods such as Qaboun, Jobar and Zamalka in the northeast and the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the south, according to the activist groups Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Authorities.

The Observatory, based in Britain, said five people, three of them women, were killed in Yarmouk overnight.

On Wednesday, Damascus witnessed the worst fighting since July, when rebels stormed several neighborhoods in the city and seized control of them for days until they were crushed in a government counteroffensive.

Damascus residents said Thursday was quieter, but they were still hearing sporadic explosions.

State-run television said rebels fired two mortar rounds at a bus station in the Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus, killing six people including three children and a woman. The TV, quoting an unnamed Interior Ministry official, said others were wounded in the attack.

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