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Central Damascus hit by clashes

July 17, 2012 6:52 pm

Fighting is intensifying across the Syrian capital Damascus, where the military has deployed tanks and helicopters, activists say.

Shooting was reported in one of the main central streets and a square housing the Central Bank.

Rebel forces say they have launched an all-out assault on the capital, calling it Operation Damascus Volcano.

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UN envoy Kofi Annan has held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow over the crisis.

Mr Putin told reporters after meeting Mr Annan that Russia still backed the envoy’s six-point peace plan, which called for a ceasefire and talks between the government and opposition.

Russia and China have consistently refused to back any measures that hint at intervention in Syria, or ask for Mr Assad to step down.

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