More than 40 people were killed and about 100 wounded when Syrian government forces fired missiles into a marketplace in a town near Damascus, a conflict monitor and a local rescue group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war through a network of sources on the ground, said government forces fired 12 missiles at Douma, 10 miles (15 km) northeast of Damascus.

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Douma has suffered intense bombardment in recent months in a wave of strikes the Syrian army has said targets insurgents that have launched attacks on government-held areas.

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Syrian Civil Defence, a local humanitarian rescue group that operates in rebel-held areas, posted a picture on its Facebook page of about a dozen bloodied bodies laid on the ground on plastic sheeting. It said the attack had said used guided missiles.

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A volunteer from the group in the wider area told Reuters the death toll in Douma had risen to at least 47, and that local rescue services were completely stretched.

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