Middle East

Syrian opposition: Shelling in water-rich valley kills 7

  • FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 by Step News Agency, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows smoke rise from the government forces shelling on Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Step News Agency, via AP, File)

    FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 by Step News Agency, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows smoke rise from the government forces shelling on Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Step News Agency, via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this still image made from video provided by opposition operated Step News Agency, which is consistent with independent AP reporting, a man views scenes of destruction inside a banquet hall, in Deir Qanoun, Barada Valley, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 .Pro-Syrian government troops shelled a village in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 12 civilians and injuring several others who were taking shelter in a banquet hall. (Step News Agency, UGC via AP)

    In this still image made from video provided by opposition operated Step News Agency, which is consistent with independent AP reporting, a man views scenes of destruction inside a banquet hall, in Deir Qanoun, Barada Valley, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 .Pro-Syrian government troops shelled a village in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 12 civilians and injuring several others who were taking shelter in a banquet hall. (Step News Agency, UGC via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this still image made from video provided by opposition operated Step News Agency, which is consistent with independent AP reporting, bodies are seen covered with blankets, as blood stains the floor, in a building in Deir Qanoun, Barada Valley, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 .Pro-Syrian government troops shelled a village in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 12 civilians and injuring several others who were taking shelter in a banquet hall. (Step News Agency, UGC via AP)

    In this still image made from video provided by opposition operated Step News Agency, which is consistent with independent AP reporting, bodies are seen covered with blankets, as blood stains the floor, in a building in Deir Qanoun, Barada Valley, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 .Pro-Syrian government troops shelled a village in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 12 civilians and injuring several others who were taking shelter in a banquet hall. (Step News Agency, UGC via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syrian opposition activists say government shelling has struck a village in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus, killing at least seven civilians and injuring several others, in violence that has tested the country's fragile cease-fire.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says shelling Sunday in Deir Qanoun village in the water-rich Wadi Barada valley killed at least seven and injured more than 20, some in serious condition. Activist-operated Wadi Barada Media Center put the toll at 12.

Fighting has raged in the valley that provides the Syrian capital with most of its water supply, restricting the flow since Dec.22, despite talks to stem the violence.

Lebanese Hezbollah group, which has fighters on the side of the Syrian government, said pro-government troops seized a hill overlooking the water source in the valley.