06/23/2013 05:35 am ET Updated Aug 23, 2013

Syria Rebels Attack Damascus Security Compounds, Five Killed, Activists Say


AMMAN, June 23 (Reuters) - Syrian rebels attacked two security compounds in Damascus on Sunday, killing at least five people, opposition activists in the capital said.

Fighters attacked a compound in the district of Rukn al-Deen with explosives and another in Bab Musalla with mortar rounds, they said.

The compound in Rukn al-Deen served as a base for shabbiha militia loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, the activists said.

They said clashes were taking place between rebels and Assad's forces in the area, close to the Qaboun and Barzeh neighbourhoods which have been under heavy army shelling in the past few days to drive out insurgents.

It was unclear if those killed were police officers, militia fighters or civilians.

Syrian official television said three civilians were killed in Rukn al-Deen in what it described as a suicide attack.

The reports could not be independently verified as the Syrian government restricts access to independent media. (Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Pravin Char)



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