DAMASCUS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Clashes intensified Monday in a number of Syrian areas, most notably in hotspots around the capital Damascus and northern city of Aleppo.
Residents of several Damascus' districts woke up Monday to the sounds of shelling and gunfire echoing from restive suburbs that are witnessing intense fighting between government troops and armed rebels.
The state-run SANA news agency said the army unities are carrying on with their operations at Damascus' suburbs of Hajar al- Aswad, al-Qadam and Asali, adding that many of the armed insurgents have been killed while others were rounded up.
SANA also said that six cars equipped with Dushka machine guns have been destroyed with all "terrorists" inside them between Kafr Hamra and al-Mansoura areas in the northern city of Aleppo.
It added that army personnel repelled on Monday an attack by an armed group on the Scientific Research Center at al-Zahraa district in Aleppo and inflicted gross losses on "terrorists."
On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported clashes and shelling by government troops on several rebellious areas across the country, adding that at least 40 people have been killed so far on Monday, while the Local Coordination Committees, another activists' network, placed the death toll at 60.
Yet, the activists' account couldn't be checked on ground independently.
The violence in Syria has been raging on since last year amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts to bring the crisis to a close.