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Mortar fire on Syria schools kills child, hurts 40

Mortar rounds fired on schools in the Syrian capital on Tuesday killed a child and wounded more than 40 people, among them more children, state media said. Rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad hold some territory on the outskirts of Damascus from which they have regularly launched mortar and rocket attacks targeting the downtown area. "A child was killed and 41 others, most of them children, were injured by mortar rounds fired by terrorists at schools in Bab Touma and Al-Duwaila in Damascus," the official SANA news agency reported.

Mortar fire on Damascus kills child, hurts 40: state news

Mortar rounds fired on the Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday killed a child and wounded at least 41 people, among them more children, state media said. "A child was killed and 41 others, most of them children, were injured by mortar rounds fired by terrorists at schools in Bab Touma and Al-Duwaila in Damascus," the official SANA news agency reported. State media and the Syrian regime refers to all those seeking President Bashar al-Assad's ouster as "terrorists".

Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town near Lebanon border

By Firas Makdesi MAALOULA, Syria (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers backed by Hezbollah fighters recaptured the town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, on Monday, military sources and state television said, further squeezing rebels' supply routes through the Qalamoun mountains into Lebanon. Islamist fighters, some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of the ancient Christian town in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner-exchange deal.

Neither side holds upper hand in Syria

The United States on Monday took issue with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's analysis that the bitter conflict was turning in his favor, saying it had become a "war of attrition." "Our analysis remains what it has been, that this is a war of attrition and neither side has been able to deliver or hold onto significant gains," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She told reporters that she was not "going to give ground game updates. Certainly our efforts to engage with the opposition continue."

Syria chemical arms handover nearly two-thirds complete

Syria has surrendered almost two-thirds of its chemical weapons with the resumption of transfers from the war-torn country, the global chemical watchdog said Monday, although it again pressed Damascus to step up efforts. "The Syrian government has completed the delivery of the 13th consignment of chemicals," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said. "The deliveries have raised the overall portion of chemicals removed from Syria to 65.1 percent, including 57.4 percent of priority chemicals," it reported in a statement in The Hague.

Syria army retakes Christian town of Maalula

Syrian regime forces retook the ancient Christian hamlet of Maalula in Damascus province on Monday, four months after mainly Islamist rebels overran it, a security official told AFP. "The army has taken full control of Maalula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamun," the official said, referring to the region in which Maalula is located. rim-rm/sah/dv

Syria army retakes Christian town of Maalula

Syrian regime forces retook the ancient Christian hamlet of Maalula in Damascus province on Monday, four months after mainly Islamist rebels overran it, a security official told AFP. "The army has taken full control of Maalula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamun," the official said, referring to the region in which Maalula is located. The recapture comes after a string of successes of the regime in the strategic Qalamun region, including the seizure of the former rebel bastion of Yabrud last month.

Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town near Lebanese border

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers backed by Hezbollah fighters recaptured on Monday the town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, military sources and state television said, closing off more of the rebel supply route through the Qalamoun mountains near Lebanon. Islamist fighters, some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, took over a quarter of the ancient Christian town in December and held several nuns captive. In March, the nuns were released in an exchange deal with Qatari and Lebanese mediation.

13 dead as Syria planes hit rebel bastions near Damascus

Syrian warplanes on Sunday launched an offensive against a string of opposition bastions on the edges of the capital, including the besieged Eastern Ghouta area, a monitoring group said. "Warplanes carried out two air strikes against areas of Douma," northeast of Damascus, killing 13 people, including three women and three children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Warily, Lebanon tackles violent spillover from Syria

By Alexander Dziadosz TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - For two weeks now, the rifles have been silent along Syria Street in Lebanon's Tripoli, an area shot up so often that even memorial posters of men killed just a few months ago are speckled with bullet holes. Soldiers patrol quiet streets where gunmen used to fight day and night - part of the Lebanese authorities' most serious effort yet to contain spillover from Syria's civil war since the three-year-old conflict began in its much larger neighbor.
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