By Anna McCaffrey in Damascus, The Independent, March 24, 2011
Witnesses said the initial attack, which began just after midnight, lasted about three hours. Heavy gunfire echoed through the streets all day. Three more people were said to have been shot in the city centre after dusk, and another six bodies were found in the street. Residents told news agencies that those killed included a prominent doctor who had gone to the mosque to help victims, and a woman who had peered out of her window to see what was happening.