DAMASCUS, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Violent clashes in Syria renewed Sunday between the government troops and armed rebels who have been trying to storm a police academy in the country's northern province of Aleppo, activists said, as local media reported the army repulsed armed groups' attacks against army outposts in several Syrian areas.
The Sunday clashes have been ignited after the rebels launched fresh offensive against the police academy in the Khan al-Asad town to the west of Aleppo, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It said the rebels managed to storm the academy's fence from several directions, adding that the clashes witnessed mutual bombardment with mortar and tank shells.
The observatory reported losses from both sides, saying that the facility has been besieged by the rebels in the hope of taking control over it in the past month.
The pro-government al-Khabar TV also confirmed the clashes at the academy "that have been raging for the third straight day." It said the academy's troops backed with artillery firepower succeeded in repulsing the attack at noon Sunday, adding that heavy losses were inflicted upon the rebels.
Meanwhile, the state-run SANA news agency said Syrian troops foiled Sunday the attempts of armed groups to infiltrate from the Lebanese territories into Syria through the border town of Talkalakh near Syria's central city of Homs.
Quoting an official source, SANA said the infiltrators were pouring in from the Lebanese areas of al-Muqelbieh, al-Hisha and al-Rama, adding that the assailants opened fire from their machine- guns and rocket shells at the Syrian border guards who returned fire and inflicted hefty losses upon them.
In the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian army repulsed an armed groups attack at military checkpoints at the vicinity of Wadi al-Dayf military site, and the troops dealt big blows to the attackers.
The Syrian army also repelled a rebels' attack on a military checkpoint at al-Nabik area just outside Damascus, SANA said.
The rebels have escalated their offensives over the past couple of months in the hope of achieving gains on ground before possible negations.
Speaking of negotiations, the head of the broad-based Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition umbrella, denied reports that he had made contacts with representative of the Syrian government.
On his Facebook page, Moaz al-Khatib stated Sunday that he did not contact officials or Syrian businessmen regarding future negotiations with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The denial came one day after his coalition declared that it would not attend next month's Friends of Syria meeting in Rome.
The coalition, formed in Doha in last November, said the planned boycott was in protest against a lack of international condemnation of the "crimes committed against the Syrian people."
Last week, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay placed the death toll of Syria's long-standing turmoil at nearly 70,000.