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Fighting breaks out near Damascus

  • Fierce fighting has taken place between Syrian troops and rebel forces in the suburbs of the capital Damascus.

    Witnesses claim it is some of the most intense violence in the region since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 15 months ago.

    According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the clashes occurred near Republican Guard positions in Qadsaya and al-Hama, around five miles from the center of Damascus.

    The Observatory said 10 people had been killed by shelling in Qadsaya.

    The reports come as the head of UN peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous, said the monitoring mission in Syria would remain suspended because of the escalating violence.