Share This Page

Syrian official: 12 killed in university attack

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 8:24 a.m.

DAMASCUS, Syria — Mortar shells slammed into a cafeteria at Damascus University Thursday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 20, according to state media and an official. It was the deadliest in a string of such attacks on President Bashar Assad's seat of power, state media and an official said.

Rebels began firing shells at the capital earlier this year, and the strikes have become increasingly common in recent weeks as rebels clash with government troops on the city's east and south sides.

State-run TV said 12 people were killed when mortar shells struck the cafeteria of the university's architecture department in the central Baramkeh district. A Syrian official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements said 20 people were wounded in the attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came two days after rebels barraged Damascus with mortar shells that killed at least three people and wounded dozens.

The shelling rarely causes many casualties, but it has shattered the aura of normalcy the regime has tried to cultivate in Damascus.

The government blamed “terrorists,” the term it uses for rebels fighting to oust Assad, and called the attack as a “barbaric massacre.”

Government-run Al-Ikhbariya TV station showed footage of plastic tables and chairs turned upside down, shattered glass and pens and books scattered on the floor. Pools of blood were seen on the floor of the open-air cafeteria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack saying many of the wounded were in critical condition.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.