BEIRUT: Syrian troops shelled a rebel bastion in northern Damascus during the night, killing seven people, while a civilian and a rebel leader were killed in violence elsewhere, a monitoring group said Saturday.
Three women were among the seven who died in the shelling of Douma, an opposition stronghold in the capital's north, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a grassroots network of activists, said regime forces have been shelling Douma for three days in a row.
The LCC also reported a series of explosions across Damascus early morning and said that regime forces had carried out house-to-house raids and mass arrests in the central province of Hama, one of the first to join the anti-regime uprising.
A rebel leader was killed in clashes near a regime checkpoint in the southern province of Daraa, while a civilian was killed in the town of Irbin in Damascus province, the Observatory said.
At least 54 people died in violence on Friday, including 43 civilians, eight regime troops and three rebel fighters, the watchdog said. According to the Observatory, more than 14,400 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad's regime erupted in mid-March 2011.