World

Syrian state media say shelling in pro-regime Damascus suburb has killed 2 people

In this photo, which AP obtained from Syrian official news agency SANA and which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks during an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV, at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Syria’s president said Monday that the factors that would allow a landmark conference aimed at ending the country’s civil war do not yet exist, throwing further doubt on international efforts to hold peace talks that have already been repeatedly delayed. (AP Photo/SANA)

In this photo, which AP obtained from Syrian official news agency SANA and which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks during an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV, at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Syria’s president said Monday that the factors that would allow a landmark conference aimed at ending the country’s civil war do not yet exist, throwing further doubt on international efforts to hold peace talks that have already been repeatedly delayed. (AP Photo/SANA)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's state media say mortar shells have struck a pro-government suburb on the outskirts of Damascus, killing two people.

The state SANA news agency says the shells slammed into the Jaramana neighborhood on Tuesday, an area where mostly minority Syrian Christians and Druse live.

It wasn't immediately clear who was behind the shelling but Jaramana has been a frequent target for the rebels. The suburb is near the town of Mleiha, where fighting has been raging for days between President Bashar Assad's troops and rebels trying to overthrow his rule.

Assad has drawn support from Syria's ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians and members of his Alawite sect, a Shiite offshoot, in the country's civil war, now in its third year. The rebels are dominated by Syria's Sunni Muslim majority.