BEIRUT: Syrian forces pounded a neighbourhood of the eastern city of Deir Ezzor with mortar fire on Tuesday, killing 10 civilians including a young girl, a monitoring group said.
The attack, which targeted the city's Al-Jbaible neighbourhood, came a day after 12 people, including three children, were killed in a car bomb blast in Deir Ezzor's Al-Joura neighbourhood, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Activists in Deir Ezzor said the car used in Monday's bombing belonged to a man who was detained several months ago by military intelligence, adding that the vehicle had been confiscated by authorities, and that the explosion was "the regime's doing."
The allegations could not immediately be verified due to severe restrictions on the media in Syria.
Thousands of people gathered in Deir Ezzor on Monday night to protest the blast, chanting slogans against President Bashar al-Assad such as "Traitor, traitor, O Bashar," the activists said.
Regime forces also on Tuesday shelled the town of Hreitan in the northern province of Aleppo, the Britain-based Observatory said, adding that regular soldiers clashed with armed rebels at the entrance to the town, leading to "heavy losses among regime troops." The shelling "destroyed a large number of houses ... and forced residents to flee," said the Local Coordination Committees, which spearheads protests against the regime.
Tuesday's violence came as Syria's main opposition bloc accused the regime of escalating attacks across the country in an attempt to wipe out the anti-regime rebellion.