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ICC Note: As fighting continues in Syria, new Christian areas are back under fire. At least two were killed and more than 20 wounded in the latest round of bombing near the city of Hama. More than 700,000 Syrian Christians are believed to have been driven from the country by the war.

12/22/2015 Syria (ARA News) – At least two civilians were killed and 20 more wounded in the countryside of Hama province during bombardment by Syrian Islamist rebel fighters, local sources reported on Monday.

The regime-held towns of Sqelbiya and Maharda in the countryside of Hama witnessed heavy bombardment by Islamist rebel groups.

A Christian majority resides both towns.

“Dozens of mortar shells and rockets hit residential neighborhoods in the targeted towns, causing the death of at least two civilians and the injury of more than 20 others,” local civil rights activist Nuhad al-Hamwi told ARA News.

The source added that some of the wounded are in critical conditions. “The death toll may rise amid the shortage of medical staff,” al-Hamwi said.

The bombardment comes as the Christian community in the countryside of Hama prepares for Christmas celebrations.

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