Syrian troops kill 73 rebels in separate clashes

Indo Asian News Service

Damascus, Dec 30 (IANS) The Syrian troops Sunday killed as many as 73 rebels in separate clashes nationwide, the state-media reported.

Opposition activists claimed that aerial bombing on rebel-held areas in Aleppo has killed 471 people over the past week, Xinhua reported.

The Syrian troops killed 30 "terrorists" from the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and other jihadist groups during a series of "qualitative" operations in two areas of the rebel-held Douma suburb, east of the capital Damascus.

In Yabrud town near Damascus, the troops eliminated gatherings of the Nusra fighters, killing 15 of them and destroying their ammunitions and weaponries.

In Aleppo province, a total of 28 armed rebels, many of whom foreign and Arab nationals, were killed by the Syrian troops in the towns of Zarzour and al-Nakkarin, SANA news agency reported.

One citizen was killed when a mortar shell landed Sunday at the Abbasiyen district of Damascus, it added.

On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday that a total of 517 people, 471 of whom civilians, have been killed over the past week in Aleppo as a result of aerial bombing.

The activists' report couldn't be verified independently.

The Syrian troops have been fighting what they call "terrorists " for almost three years.

The international community is preparing for holding the Geneva II peace conference designed to bring representatives of the government and the opposition together to strike a political solution to the protracted impasse.