DAMASCUS, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops repelled Tuesday an attack by armed rebels against an ancient citadel in the southern province of Daraa, state media said, as activists claimed that rebels stormed a pro-government town near the Turkish borders.
Syrian troops repulsed an attack by armed militia against Busra al-Sham Citadel in Daraa, inflicting hefty toll against the assailants, the state-run SANA news agency said.
Quoting a military source in Daraa, SANA said all the armed militia have been either killed or wounded and their weaponries destroyed.
In the capital Damascus, meanwhile, a mortar shell struck the neighborhood of Rukin Addien Tuesday, injuring 10 people and killing one.
Several cars have been damaged due to the shell, local media said.
To the north, rebels stormed Tuesday morning the town of Harem near the Turkish borders and managed to push into the area after weeks of surrounding the town, which is known of being loyal to the administration of President Bashar al-Assad.
Several people have been killed due to the shelling and fighting in that area over the past weeks, reports said.
Activists said the last post to fall in the hands of the rebels was the town's old citadel that overlooks Harem, a town of 20,000 in Idlib province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that seven people were killed Tuesday by army's aerial bombardment in the al-Dweiraniya village at the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo.
The Observatory reported violence, clashes and bombardment in several other Syrian areas.
The recent violence comes as UN envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria for a week-long visit aimed to discuss the crisis with top Syrian officials.