Activist groups say latest clashes near Syrian capital may have killed hundreds

Two Syrian activist groups say they fear the past six days of clashes in two Damascus suburbs may have killed hundreds of people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the number of dead could be as high as 250.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory, says the group has documented 80 names of those killed in Jdaidet Artouz and Jdaidet al-Fadel suburbs.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, says the death toll is 483. It says most of the people were killed in Jdaidet Artouz.

State-run news agency SANA said Syrian troops "inflicted heavy losses" on the rebels in the suburbs.

Monday's reports came as President Bashar Assad's forces continued a major offensive in the suburbs against opposition fighters who were closing in on parts of Damascus.