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Four die during fierce fighting in Damascus

At least four people died in central Damascus yesterday as opposition fighters and government forces clashed in the fiercest fighting to date in the heart of the capital.

Syria's official Sana news agency claimed security forces had stormed the hideout of an "armed terrorist" group in Mezzeh, but opposition activists said the gunfight began when rebels fired a rocket grenade at the home of an army general.

Syrian authorities have been at pains to try to isolate the heart of Damascus from the unrest gripping the country.