DAMASCUS, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops on Tuesday targeted positions of armed rebels in the northeastern city of al-Raqqa after the rebels stormed the city a day earlier, local media said.
The Syrian army targeted the positions of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in al-Raqqa, the state-TV said, adding that the armed militias have attacked public and private properties in the city.
Meanwhile, pro-government Sham FM radio said that large numbers of al-Raqqa residents fled to Deir al-Zour and other Syrian cities.
It added that the governor of Deir al-Zour ordered all the competent parties in the city to receive the displaced people and provide them with all they need.
The pro-opposition Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Syrian air force carried out two air raids Tuesday that hit the state intelligence branch in the city after the rebels apparently captured it.
It also said violent clashes took place between regime forces and rebel fighters around the ammunition depots in the northern part of al-Raqqa on Tuesday, adding that it has received news that rebel fighters have taken control of the depots.
In addition, it posted a video footage on its Facebook page showing a number of government troops taken captive by the armed groups in the city, and said that al-Raqqa Governor Hasan Jalili and local head of the ruling Baath party Sulaiman al-Sulaiman have been captured.
Violence has intensified in Syria recently in what some observers described as the escalation before the anticipated pacification after the international community declared support to the political solution to Syria's long-standing conflict.
A recent UN tally placed the overall death toll of Syria's two- year-old conflict at more than 70,000 people.
Special Report: Syrian Situation