DHAKA: Fierce fighting has erupted in rebel-held districts of Aleppo, a day after opposition forces repulsed an offensive by government troops in Syria’s second-largest city, a human rights group said.
‘Intense clashes took place in the districts of Bab al-Hadid, Zahraa, Arkub and Al-Hindrat Camp as explosions were heard and aircraft were sighted overhead,’ the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
Helicopter gunships flew over the Saif al-Dawla district as well as Salaheddin, where rebels held off an offensive by ground troops backed by tanks and helicopters on Saturday, the Britain-based rights group said.
In the central city of Homs, a battle broke out near the police headquarters between troops and rebel fighters, of whom at least one was killed.
Near the capital, sniper fire killed a civilian in the town of Irbin, the Observatory said, reports Al Jazeera.
Two more were killed in shelling in Idlib province in the northwest.
On Saturday, violence killed 168 people, 94 civilians, 33 rebels and 41 soldiers, the Observatory said.
The London-based watchdog said more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have now died since the uprising against Assad’s government erupted in March 2011.
Civilians on Saturday crowded into basements seeking refuge from the bombing, with the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman describing the clashes as the ‘fiercest’ of the uprising.
‘There are thousands of people in the streets fleeing the bombardment. They’re being terrorised by helicopter gunships flying at low altitude,’ said an activist, adding many had taken refuge in public parks.
BDST: 1530 HRS, JUL 29, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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