Last updated: 26 August, 2013

Mortar shells hit central Damascus

Mortar shells hit the centre of Damascus on Monday morning, wounding three people, Syrian news agency SANA reported.

A shell fired by “terrorists” hit the Al-Hassan mosque in the upmarket Abu Rummaneh neighbourhood, the report said, using the Syrian government’s term for rebel fighters it is locked in a bloody civil war with.

One person was wounded, and the mosque’s minaret was destroyed, SANA said.

Two other people, a woman and her child, were wounded by mortar fire near Ommayad Square in the centre of the capital.

Elsewhere, an AFP photographer waiting outside the Damascus hotel of UN weapons inspectors, who are in the country to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use, said he heard two explosions nearby.

The experts, who arrived in Syria on August 18, were to visit the site of the latest suspected chemical weapons strikes near Damascus, after President Bashar al-Assad’s government gave them the green light on Sunday.