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Dozens killed by government strikes outside Damascus

The Easten Ghouta suburbs just outside of the Syrian capital are rebel strongholds.

Attacks in Damascus.

In the past 24 hours dozens of civilians, including some children, have been killed by Syrian government airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus.

The Easten Ghouta suburbs just outside of the Syrian capital are rebel strongholds, and have copped the brunt of the government's wraith in the past few months.

The area has seen 181 airstrikes in just the past week.

Sunday's bombing killed at least 23 people, according to the locally-run Ghouta Media Centre.

But at least 25 deaths were reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

An elderly man is carried away from the scene of the bombing.
An elderly man is carried away from the scene of the bombing. ITV News

The bombing comes ahead of an eighth round of United Nations peace talks between the government and Syrian opposition in Geneva on Tuesday.

The talks would cover four main topics - a new constitution, governance, elections and combating terrorism, said the UN's deputy envoy to Syria, Ramzy Ramzy, after meeting Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad in Damascus.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said the government would attend Russian-sponsored talks in Sochi, due next month.

At least 400,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war that followed a violent crackdown on demonstrations in 2011 against the rule of the family of President Bashar Assad.

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