Civilians killed by Syrian airstrikes outside Damascus

Syrian government airstrikes and shelling have killed at least 23 civilians outside the capital Damascus, according to activists.

The figures were given by the locally-run Ghouta Media Centre.

But at least 25 deaths were reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group as residential areas of Damascus's Eastern Ghouta suburbs suffered attacks from government jets and artillery,

Civil Defense workers carry an injured man after government airstrikes hit Douma, near Damascus.

Rescuers in the town of Misraba, in the eastern Ghouta region, picked up dead and wounded from streets in a residential area, as seen in a video.

Syrian rebels attacked a military installation in the area earlier this month, seizing weapons and ammunition.

Rebels and pro-government forces were still fighting for the compound, outside the town of Harasta, also in Eastern Ghouta, today.

A major general in the army was killed in the battle on Saturday, according to the Observatory, with pro-government pages on social media announcing his death today.

Earlier today, at least 10 people were killed in an airstrike on an village held by the so-called 'Islamic State' group in eastern Syria, said an activist-run group.

The Observatory said a Russian airstrike killed at least 34 civilians, and the Justice For Life group also reported the attack on al-Shaafa, saying civilians were killed.

At least 400,000 people have been killed in the civil war that followed a violent crackdown on demonstrations in 2011 against the rule of the family of President Bashar Assad.

The UN is set to resume peace talks between the government and the Syrian opposition in Geneva on November 28. The opposition said last week it was prepared to enter into direct talks with the government without preconditions.

The talks would cover four main topics - a new constitution, governance, elections and combating terrorism, said the UN's deputy envoy to Syria, Ramzy Ramzy, after meeting Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad in Damascus.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said the government would attend Russian-sponsored talks in Sochi, due next month.

- AP

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