An array of explosives, from shells to barrel bombs, fell on Syrian cities in another day of bloodshed Thursday, according to activists fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
The Local Coordination Committees accused the government of using “vacuum bombs.” CNN cannot independently confirm the claims because the Syrian government has limited access to international journalists. Damascus has not commented on the accusations.
Also known as thermobaric explosives, they are effective at spreading destruction through urban areas, according to military experts. The LCC also repeated claims that the government used cluster bombs.
At least eight people died Thursday, according to opposition activists. The early reports follow a week of grim tolls, including 121 reported dead Wednesday and 163 on Tuesday.
More than 32,000 people have died in the 19-month-old Syrian conflict, according to the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria, an opposition group that tracks fatalities.
International diplomacy appeared to remain stagnant as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated Moscow’s complaint Thursday that Syria’s oppositional factions offer no centralized leadership to negotiate with.
United Nations envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, attemped a cease-fire this week, but it never took hold.
Oppositions groups reported the sound of shells and explosive barrels thundering across Damascus on Thursday. In the suburbs, gunfire mixed with shelling as the opposition Free Syrian Army battled government forces, according to the LCC.
The group also reported explosions and shelling in Daraa, Deir Ezzor and Idlib, where it claimed cluster bombs were used.
Reports by a second opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, corroborated shelling in and around Damascus and in Idlib.