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The Latest: Russian helicopter shot down in Syria

In this photo released on Friday, July 29, 2016 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, municipal workers prepare aid inside buildings prepared by the Syrian government to host people who will left rebel-held neighborhoods of the northern city of Aleppo, Syria. Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave. The Russian military says 169 civilians have left through the corridors since they were set up, but Syrian opposition activists say no civilians have left besieged parts of the city. (SANA via AP)

In this photo released on Friday, July 29, 2016 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, municipal workers prepare aid inside buildings prepared by the Syrian government to host people who will left rebel-held neighborhoods of the northern city of Aleppo, Syria. Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave. The Russian military says 169 civilians have left through the corridors since they were set up, but Syrian opposition activists say no civilians have left besieged parts of the city. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the developments in the war in Syria (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The Russian Defense Ministry says a transport helicopter has been shot down in Syria, but the fate of the five people onboard is still unknown.

The ministry says in a statement that the Mi-8 helicopter was shot down on Monday in Idlib province while returning to the Russian air base on the coast after delivering humanitarian goods to the city of Aleppo.

The helicopter had three crew members and two officers from the Russian reconciliation center.

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11:50 a.m.

A Syrian military official says government forces have repelled an attack by insurgents that was an attempt to break the siege imposed on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo.

And in nearby Idlib province, a helicopter gunship was shot down. That was reported by opposition activists.

Two activist groups — the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees — say rebels shot down the helicopter over Idlib. It wasn't clear if the helicopter was Russian or Syrian.

Monday's developments come a day after Syrian rebels launched the offensive to break up the government's siege of eastern, rebel-held part of Aleppo.

Opposition activists say intense fighting still ongoing in Aleppo. The military official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. He did not elaborate.