Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Bombs and gunfire kill three in Syria

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Three people have been killed by bombs and mortar fire near the Syrian capital Damascus.

Two bombs exploded near the capital’s famous Hamidiyeh market., another seven people were wounded.

Also on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss a planned peace conference.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said it had also seen “initial reports” of Thursday’s deaths in Damascus.

Central Damascus has experienced increasing violence recently as clashes between government forces and rebels in its suburbs continue.

On Monday the driver of a school bus and four children died when a mortar hit the bus in Damascus’s Old City.

Last week eight people were killed and 50 wounded in the central Hijaz Square, the state-run news agency Sana reported.

The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011. More than 2.2 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries while an estimated 4.25 million have been displaced internally.


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