SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: March 28, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Damascus University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Syria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Damascus University was struck by mortar shells on March 28, 2013 killing at least 13 students and injuring dozens.  The shells struck the canteen of the university’s Engineering Department, which is located in the Baramkeh neighborhood of Damascus and is adjacent to several government buildings, including the Defense Ministry, the state media headquarters, and the Presidential Palace. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.  Two days prior, a shell exploded a few hundred yards from the Damascus University campus. These incidents follow the explosions at University of Aleppo in January where more than 80 people were killed. 
Scholars at Risk is concerned about continued attacks on higher education institutions in Syria and calls on all parties to the conflict to refrain from targeting educational facilities and to ensure the security of higher education communities in territory under their control.