A Lebanese woman from the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon carries a placard in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon during a protest in solidarity with civilians in Eastern Ghouta.
A Lebanese woman from the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon carries a placard in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon during a protest in solidarity with civilians in Eastern Ghouta. WAEL HAMZEH

UN calls for truce as Syria bombs on

FRESH fighting has broken out around Eastern Ghouta in the suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus as air strikes and shelling continue, despite the UN calling for a 30-day ceasefire.

Opposition groups fighting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said they clashed with pro-Damascus fighters on several fronts, as rescuers and residents said Syrian warplanes struck some towns in the enclave.

A new wave of bombings left nine people dead and injured 31, bringing the death toll from a week of bombardment to more than 500 with 2500 injured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The dead included more than 120 children.

The Syrian army made no comment, but the Observatory said the bombing on Sunday was less intense than attacks over the past week.

There were also reports a number of people were taken to hospital with symptoms that indicated use of chlorine gas.

Mr Assad has been repeatedly accused of using chemicals against citizens, with a UN report blaming him for using Sarin on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017. He denies it.

Nearly 400,000 people live in Eastern Ghouta and it has been under government siege since 2013. - INM



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