Syria's state news agency says rebel fire has killed at least nine civilians in the government- controlled section of the divided northern city of Aleppo.

SANA reported on Tuesday that four women and three children were among the nine killed when rebels shelled and fired at three front-line neighborhoods.

Fighting has intensified around Aleppo since the government sealed off the lifeline to the Aleppo rebel-controlled neighborhoods. The rebels have launched a counteroffensive, clashing with government forces on various fronts.

Meanwhile, a Syrian military official says the army repelled a rebel attack in Handarat, north of Aleppo. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Rebel spokesman Abdul-Salam Abdul-Razzek says clashes were intense with government forces near al-Ramouseh, along a strategic government-controlled highway and artillery base south of Aleppo.