DAMASCUS: A mortar attack on Damascus University killed at least 12 students on Thursday, state television reported, blaming rebels who have stepped up attacks in the heart of the Syrian capital.
“The number of students killed in the mortar attack on the architecture faculty in Damascus University has risen to 12,” said the broadcaster, blaming “terrorists” for the attack, using the regime term for insurgents.
Previously, the television station had reported that several people were killed or wounded in the attack.
“The National Students Union condemns the cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the architecture faculty of Damascus University,” the television added.
State news agency SANA added that six others were hurt by “mortars that targeted the faculty cafeteria”.
Rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have this week escalated their mortar attacks on central Damascus, including Umayyad Square in the middle of the capital, which houses the state television headquarters.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group that relies on sources on the ground for its information, also reported Thursday’s attack, although it put the toll at 10 people dead.
Al-Ikhbariya television, a pro-regime channel, showed footage of doctors treating young people with serious wounds, some of them unconscious.