Shell kills teacher, wounds 23 students in Damascus school

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BEIRUT (AP) — A mortar shelled smashed into an elementary school in an upscale neighborhood of the Syrian capital Wednesday, killing a female teacher and wounding 23 students, reports said.

These reports said the shell fired by “terrorists” struck the Thaqafi school in the district of Malki, also causing damage to the school building.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which documents casualties of the Syrian conflict, also reported the incident, saying a teacher was killed and around 20 students wounded in the attack. It said some of the wounded students were in critical condition.

Rebels in the suburbs of Damascus often lob mortar shells at the capital, although schools have rarely been targeted.

The attack came on the first day of final exams for elementary and secondary schools, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said.

More than 220,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011 amid a wave of Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East.

Rebels are allied to numerous extremist groups and are backed by West and its regional allies. Damascuss is supported by Iran and Hezbollah.

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