BEIRUT: At least 44 people were killed in and near the Syrian capital on Sunday in regime air strikes and rebel mortar fire, reports from a monitoring group and state media said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 32 people were killed in air raids on two rebel-held towns near Damascus. Seventeen were killed in Douma, northeast of the capital, and 15 in Kfar Batna, to the east, said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. A woman and child were killed in each of the towns. State news agency SANA, meanwhile, said 12 people were killed in rebel mortar fire on southern districts of Damascus. With the more than three-year-old conflict raging across Syria, the rebel bastion of Douma has been besieged by regime forces for more than a year, and it has been the target of regular bombardment.