Activists say 13 killed in airstrike near Damascus

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BEIRUT — A Syrian airstrike slammed into a house in a rebellious suburb of Damascus early today, killing at least 13 people including eight children, activists said, as President Bashar Assad’s regime ramped up its operations against the opposition strongholds ringing the capital.

Government forces have used warplanes and multiple rocket launchers over the past 24 hours in what activists described as some of the heaviest barrages of the Damascus region since the government launched an offensive in November to dislodge rebels from the capital’s outskirts. At least 45 people were killed in a government barrage on Sunday, opposition groups said.

The air raid early today struck a home in the southern suburb of Maadamiyeh when residents were still inside, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights and other activists said.

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