Damascus, Feb 9 (IANS) As many as 15 people were killed and dozens wounded Monday in government airstrikes on a rebel-held area east of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group reported.

Government forces also fired mortar shells on Douma in eastern Damascus amid renewed shelling by barrel bombs, Xinhua news agency reported citing London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding that many of the wounded were in critical condition.

The Syrian troops have unleashed a wide-scale campaign against Douma recently, after rebels there hit Damascus with dozens of mortar rounds, many of which slammed into residential districts.

The observatory relies on a network of contacts on the ground in Syria.

At least three people were killed and dozens wounded in the mortar attack on Damascus Thursday.