BEIRUT (AP) — Human Rights Watch says the Syrian military is firing ballistic missiles into populated areas where it is battling rebels, killing hundreds of civilians.

The U.S.-based group said in a report released Monday that it has investigated nine apparent missile attacks that killed at least 215 people, half of them children, between February and July.

HRW activists visited seven sites of the nine attacks. There were no apparent military targets near the inspected sites, the group said in a statement, calling on President Bashar Assad to stop indiscriminate attacks.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. The military has repeatedly denied it is targeting civilians during the 2-year conflict, saying its troops are fighting "terrorists" hiding in civilian areas.

 

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