DAMASCUS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed and more than 20 others wounded Friday in a mortar attack in Damascus, the latest of a series of mortar assaults by rebels on pro-government districts of the Syrian capital, local Sham FM radio reported.
The attack targeted the Christian-dominated district of Bab Touma in eastern Damascus, the report said, spelling no further details.
Meanwhile, the Russia Today TV said that two mortars hit Bab Touma, adding that two kids were among those killed.
Bab Touma, the adjacent Qassa and Bab Sharqi districts in the old quarter of Damascus have emerged as easy targets for the rebels, who are besieged by the government troops in the hotspot suburbs of Jobar and Zamalka.
Tens of people have lost their lives in the past few months in that region as a result of the random shelling.
The rebels have recently warned that they would rain down Damascus with mortars to avenge the ongoing siege the government troops had held against them.
Also on Friday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported several mortar attacks on districts of Damascus, including the Mazzeh 86 area inhabited mostly by the Alawite minority, to whom the ruling elites belong.
The rebellion in Syria is largely driven by Sunni fighters, including groups that have direct links with al-Qaida.
The Observatory also reported the government troops' bombardment on Jobar and the Yarmouk camp.
In the northern province of Aleppo, the Observatory said 20 soldiers were killed Friday when rebels from different battalions stormed an air-defense battalion near the town of Khanaser. It said that seven rebels were killed in the clashes.
The violence in Syria has been ongoing for over two and a half years and shows no sign of abating in spite of the ostensible international efforts to solve the crisis politically.