At least 40 people were killed and about 100 wounded after Syrian government forces fired missiles into a market place in a town near Damascus, a conflict monitor and a local rescue group said on Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces fired 12 missiles at Douma, 10 miles (15 km) northeast of Damascus. Douma has suffered intense bombardment in recent months in a wave of strikes the Syrian army has said targets insurgent groups that launched attacks on nearby government-held areas.
The Syrian Civil Defence group posted a picture on its Facebook page of about a dozen bloodied bodies laid on the ground on plastic sheeting and said more than 45 had died in the attack, which it said used guided missiles.
Many of Douma's residents have fled the four-year-old conflict, moving to nearby rural areas. Medics say they have struggled to cope with large numbers of wounded in the intensified strikes.