Syrian activists and state media say at least 49 civilians, among them 5 children, have been killed on Saturday in Syria's contested Aleppo province as rebels and government forces traded indiscriminate fire across the region.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says Sunday that government airstrikes and shelling on opposition areas in the provincial capital, Aleppo city, and surrounding countryside killed 40 civilians. The Local Coordination Committees activist network put the toll in opposition areas at 45 dead.

State media and the Observatory say rebel shelling on government-held districts of Aleppo city killed 9 civilians, among them 2 children. State media said another 22 were injured.

Rebels and pro-government forces are battling for control of the northern metropolis, once Syria's largest city and its commercial capital.