At least 40 people are reported to have been killed and about 100 wounded when Syrian government forces fired a barrage missiles into a busy market in the rebel-held town of Douma, 10 miles (15km) north east of Damascus. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Assad's forces fired 12 missiles into the market place.

Douma has suffered intense bombardment in recent months. The Syrian army said it is targeting insurgents that have launched attacks on government-held areas. Many of Douma's residents have fled the area, moving to rural areas.

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Smoke billows from an area of Douma following reported shelling by Syrian government forcesSameer al-Doumy/AFP
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Syrian emergency personnel stand in the rubble of a destroyed building in the rebel-controlled area of DoumaSameer al-Doumy/AFP
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People inspect a busy marketplace hit by missiles fired by Syrian government forcesBassam Khabieh/Reuters
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A man covers his nose as he walks past a site hit by missiles fired by Syrian government forces on a busy marketplace in the Douma neighborhood of DamascusBassam Khabieh/Reuters
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Civil defence members gather dead bodies inside their centre after Syrian government forces fired missiles on a busy marketplace in DoumaBassam Khabieh/Reuters
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Syrian men try to identify the bodies of loved ones following an air strike by Syrian government forcesAbd Doumany/AFP
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A man mourns a loved one following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces on the rebel-held area of DoumaAbd Doumany/AFP
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A blood-stained Syrian banknote is seen in the rubble of the marketBassam Khabieh/Reuters
Douma Syria
Blood-stained shoes are pictured after Syrian government forces fired missiles on a busy marketplace in DoumaBassam Khabieh/Reuters

International diplomats are meeting at a peace conference in Vienna, seeking a compromise to help end a the civil war and potentially ease President Bashar al-Assad out of power. His allies, Iran and Russia, are attending the talks, along with countries attempting to oust him, including Saudi Arabia and the US.

Syria's four-year-old civil war has killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes.

Additional reporting by Reuters.