Syria: Twin suicide blasts hit south of Damascus

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About half of Yarmouk’s 150,000 residents have fled since fighting erupted in mid-December, according to UNRWA, which administers Palestinian camps in the Middle East. Some sought refuge in neighboring Lebanon, and others found shelter in UNRWA schools in Damascus and other Syrian cities.

Dozens have been killed in the fighting, although the United Nations did not provide an exact figure of casualties in Yarmouk violence, which has included airstrikes and artillery shelling from the Syrian military.

On Syria’s northern border with Turkey, regime fighter jets pounded villages in rebel-held areas in Latakia province, dropping makeshift bombs made from hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of explosives stuffed into barrels, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency said. The so-called barrel bombs were used in strikes on targets in Latakia Friday, the agency said, adding the regime’s assault included military helicopters.

The shelling of Latakia could be heard across the border in the Turkish province of Hatay, according to the news report, which also reported heavy clashes between government troops and rebels in Syria’s northern Idlib province, also along the border with Turkey.

There were no reports of any deaths in the fighting. Ambulances were sent to the border region to bring wounded Syrians to hospitals in Turkey, the agency said.

Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut and Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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