Mortar attack on Damascus souk kills one, wounds 30: State media

A mortar attack on a historic souk in central Damascus on Monday killed one person and wounded 30 others, Syria`s official news agency said.

"Terrorists launched two mortar rounds on Tarek Ben Ziyad Street, in the Hariqa market of Damascus, which killed one person, wounded 30 others," SANA reported, citing a high-ranking police source.

Situated within the walls of the Old City, the souk is one of the oldest and most famous marketplaces in the capital popular among tourists and locals alike.

Syria`s civil war began to encroach on the capital in the summer of 2012, the year after it broke out.

Since then, Damascenes have been living under almost daily mortar shelling that has seen dozens of people killed, many more wounded and left a trail of destruction.

In a report published last week, Human Rights Watch criticised armed opposition groups in Syria for conducting indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, which are considered war crimes.

The New York-based group documented dozens of opposition attacks on regime-controlled areas, including shelling of Damascus neighbourhoods that cost civilian lives.

Rebel groups typically fire on Damascus from their bases on the outskirts of the city.

The Syrian conflict began with peaceful demonstrations in 2011 but spiralled into a devastating civil war that is estimated to have killed more than 215,000 people.

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