Mortar hits Damascus church



Damascus: A mortar fired on the central Damascus district of Qassaa has damaged a Roman Catholic church, a pro-regime newspaper said on Monday, blaming "terrorists" for the hit. "Terrorists launched on Sunday a mortar round at a Roman Catholic church in Qassaa in Qishle street in Old Damascus, causing material damage and hurting a woman," said the Arabic daily Al-Watan, using the regime's term to describe rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which also reported the launch of a mortar into the Damascus neighbourhood, said it was impossible to verify whether the church had been targeted. "A mortar is not a precise weapon," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. "Overall, there have been dozens of mosques, churches and other places of worship damaged or destroyed in the (nearly two-year) war, all over the country. No place is safe in Syria any more."

Christians make up about five percent of the population in Syria, where rebels and forces loyal to Assad have been locked in a civil war the UN says has killed more than 70,000 people.

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