Syrian Judge Killed in Damascus Fighting

Blown up in his car


BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian insurgents escalated attacks on targets within earshot of President Bashar al-Assad's hilltop Damascus palace on Wednesday, blowing up a judge in his car and lobbing mortar shells at a neighborhood that houses central government offices and a military airfield.

The assassination of the judge, reported by the official news agency, SANA, was the second high-profile killing of a top Assad loyalist in the Syrian capital in two days and added to the impression that the Syrian insurgency had intensified in the face of sputtering international diplomacy aimed at resolving the 20-month-old conflict.