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Heavy fighting breaks out in Syrian capital

  • Heavy fighting broke out in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Wednesday as rebels attacked forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

    Much of the violence was concentrated around the Jobar district.

    Earlier in the day, bombings took place in the town of Palmyra, killing 19 people.

    The violence came as the head of the main Syrian opposition alliance, Moaz al-Khatib, said his offer of talks with the government would be withdrawn unless female prisoners were released by Sunday.

    Khatib, who heads the National Coalition, has had his offer of peace talks backed by the United States, the United Nations and the Arab League.

    An estimated 60,000 people have been killed in the 22-month conflict between the Assad government and rebel groups. An additional 600,000 have fled into neighboring countries to escape the ongoing violence.

    Get map and some general information on Damascus, the Syrian capital.