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BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Islam does not want to close the door on negotiations with Russia to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict over the town of Douma near Damascus, its political official Mohammad Alloush said on Friday.

"We don't want to close the door that can lead to sparing the blood of civilians and reaching a peaceful situation," he said in an interview with al-Hadath TV. Alloush also denied the group had shelled residential areas of Damascus.

Separately, Jaish al-Islam military spokesman in Douma said the group's artillery and rocket brigade was targeting government forces in response to "the massacre committed by the Assad militias and their ally the Russian war planes".

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Reuters