DAMASCUS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Clashes and protests hit various parts of Syria on Sunday, the first day of Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important feasts on the Muslim calendar that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Syria's SANA state news agency said government troops are hunting down "mercenary terrorists" at Saif al-Dawla, Bustan al- Qasr, Bawabat al-Qasab, Souk al-Souf and Qastal al-Harami in northern Aleppo province, with scores of "terrorists" already killed.
In southern Daraa province, authorities are tracking down remnants of armed groups at al-Hirak town, eliminating a number of them and rounding up others. Government troops continue to sweep al-Lujat area, according to the report.
The state news agency said many armed men have been eliminated in Daraa.
Meanwhile, border forces have thwarted multiple attempts by armed men to sneak into Syria through Lebanon.
Ahmad Munir, governor of the central province of Homs, said Sunday that "our valiant armed" will keep on confronting the conspiracy on Syria in order to restore stability and security, as well as protect public and private properties. Munir's remarks were made during his visit to the injured military personnel in military hospitals.
On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a rebel fighter was killed Sunday after clashes with government forces at al-Qadam neighborhood of the capital Damascus, adding that the clashes led to the destruction of a military vehicle and the death or injury of eight of its crew.
It said several anti-regime protests broke out Sunday to mark the first day of Eid al-Fitr. The protests erupted in several towns of Idlib province, central Hama and some areas of Damascus.
Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees, another activists ' network, said Damascus' suburbs of Daryya, Jdaidat Artoz and Housh Arab have been pounded by government troops.
The activists' claim couldn't be accurately verified as the 17- month unrest in Syria has morphed into an armed conflict, meaning that most the troublesome areas are overwhelmed by the presence of armed rebel Free Syrian Army as well as other unidentified armed groups.
The armed rebels have sought to ignite clashes with government troops in populated areas across the country, most recently in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub.
The guerrilla tactic aims to sap the resolve of Syrian government troops that have been moving around from one area to another to dislodge the militants.
The gravity of the situation emanates from the locations of battles, which are inside residential areas. The Syrian leadership accused the armed rebels of sheltering behind civilians.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said recently that the urban battles in Aleppo has taken more time due to the nature of the battlefield, streets and populated districts. He, however, called on the Syrians not to worry and said anyone who thinks of defeating the Syrian army is "delusional."