Damascus Suburbs Torn by Battle After Rebel Suicide Bombing

Rebels push toward downtown


BEIRUT, Lebanon — Fighting raged between rebels and the Syrian military for control of a Damascus suburb on Saturday after a suicide bomber attack on a government checkpoint that an opposition monitoring group said killed at least 16 soldiers.

At least 15 rebel fighters were killed in heavy clashes after the attack, as the government launched airstrikes and rebels peppered a government-controlled area with mortar rounds, according to the monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.