DAMASCUS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Syrian state media said Sunday the army troops have cleared five restive suburbs of the capital Damascus, as other media reported that many armed rebels fled toward the Lebanese territories due to the intense army shelling on a central Syrian town.
Syrian troops finished Sunday rooting out insurgency from Damascus' suburbs of Zibdeen, Deir al-Asafir, Shaba'a, Mohamadieh and Jisreen, the state-run SANA news agency reported, giving no further details.
The cleansing campaign is part of the army's operations nationwide to mop out the rampant armed insurgency that has engulfed a considerable number of Syrian cities.
Meanwhile, Lebanese OTV said many armed elements fled Sunday the central Syrian town of al-Qusair toward the al-Qa'a border town in neighboring Lebanon due to the heavy shelling by the Syrian army on al-Qusair, which has been largely out of the government's control recently.
Syrian official media said the army was advancing on the ground in al-Qusair and other hotspots nationwide.
Also on Sunday, the pro-government Sham FM said the government troops carried out a qualitative operation in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, leaving 72 dead and 150 injured.
In separate accounts, activists reported heavy shelling by the Syrian troops on many hotspots across the unrest-ravaged country, which has resulted in an undisclosed number of casualties and injuries.
Syria has been plagued since last year by an unrest that started with anti-government protests and evolved into an armed rebellion. Activists said more than 23,000 people have been killed since last year, blaming the government of being behind the escalation of violence, while the Syrian government blamed the bloody unrest on armed groups and extremists backed by a foreign plot.