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Syria: Rebel shelling of capital wounds 8 civilians following threats

  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, smoke rises after rebels fired rockets and mortar shells that struck several parts in the capital Damascus, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Syrian rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus on Thursday, killing many people and wounding tens, Syria's state-run news agency said. (AP Photo/SANA)

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, smoke rises after rebels fired rockets and mortar shells that struck several parts in the capital Damascus, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Syrian rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus on Thursday, killing many people and wounding tens, Syria's state-run news agency said. (AP Photo/SANA)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows cars that were burned after rebels fired rockets and mortar shells that attack several parts in the capital Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Syrian rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus on Thursday, killing many people and wounding tens, Syria's state-run news agency said. (AP Photo/SANA)

    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows cars that were burned after rebels fired rockets and mortar shells that attack several parts in the capital Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Syrian rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus on Thursday, killing many people and wounding tens, Syria's state-run news agency said. (AP Photo/SANA)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's state-run news agency says at least eight civilians have been wounded by rocket and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus.

Thursday's early morning barrage comes after a rebel commander warned he would shower the capital with mortar shells to avenge government airstrikes on nearby rebel-held suburbs over the past week.

Zahran Alloush warned that Damascus would become a "security zone" as of Wednesday and until further notice.

The shelling on Thursday hit several upscale districts, including al-Malki, Abu Rummanah, Kfar Sousseh and Mazzeh.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 38 rockets were fired on Damascus Thursday, adding that a number of people were wounded.