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Raging battle outside Damascus shuts down airport road, two Austrian peacekeepers wounded

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Nov 29, 2012

Heavy clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces outside Damascus has forced the closure of the main airport road. Two Austrian UN soldiers were injured in the ongoing gun battle as major airlines canceled flights to the city.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that intense fighting was raging “along all the areas along the road” to the International airport, southeast of the city.

Two Austrian peacekeeping soldiers were wounded on Thursday when their convoy came under fire near the airport, the defense ministry in Vienna said. One soldier was shot in the arm, the other in the shoulder. Neither soldier is in critical condition. A vehicle from their convoy was also seriously damaged in the melee.

Austria currently has 360 soldiers deployed with the UN peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 War.

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines suspended flights to Damascus on Thursday, in the face of what activists described as the most intense fighting in that area since the uprising began against President Bashar al-Assad 20-months ago.

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This article was posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

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