Syria says 10 dead in mortar attack on school


BEIRUT (AP) — A mortar slammed into a ninth-grade classroom in the Damascus suburbs today, killing nine students and a teacher, according to state media, as the civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The state-run news agency SANA reported earlier that 30 people had been killed, but later revised its report with the lower death toll. It blamed the attack on terrorists, the term the regime uses for rebels who are fighting to topple the government.

The mortar hit the al-Batiha school in al-Wafideen camp, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Damascus, according to SANA. The camp houses 25,000 people displaced from the Golan Heights since the 1967 war between Syria and Israel.

"It's a terrorist attack on educational institutions and on students," Hassan Mohsen, the director of Quneitra Education Department, told The Associated Press.

Further details were not immediately released.

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