Heavy clashes continue in Syrian capital
Damascus, July 17, (RHC), -- Clashes and explosions were reported on Monday in Damascus for the second straight day, as government forces are hunting down opposition fighters who have blew up several explosive devices, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
The clashes have started on Sunday afternoon and continued Monday in what witnesses described as the toughest clashes to have occurred in the capital since the unrest began last year.
Two heavy explosions have hit the Abu-Habl area in Midan neighborhood. There are no immediate reports of casualties, according to Syrian media.
Syrian security forces are reportedly chasing the gunmen after they escaped to the capital’s parks in Tadamon, Midan and Shaghour districts.
Earlier, pro-government media said that more than 80 opposition fighters have been killed in the Damascus clashes.
The Syrian forces have also clashed with armed gangs in several other cities, including Idlib and Aleppo, causing heavy losses to anti-government groups, state TV said.
Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March 2011 when protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad erupted across the Arab country.
Some 9000 people have been killed in the violence, according to UN numbers.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters. But Damascus blames terrorist groups for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. /AGENCIES