Syrian troops bombard suburbs of the capital, Damascus, in clash with rebels

Syrian activists say government forces have bombarded some suburbs of the capital, Damascus, killing several people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that 22 fighters have been killed since late Thursday in the fighting in the suburb of Mleiha and surrounding areas.

Activist Ammar al-Hassan, who is based near Mleiha, says air raids killed seven people in the suburb Friday morning. He added that at least six fighters have been killed there since Thursday night.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive on the outskirts of Damascus in order to distance opposition fighters from President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

Also Friday, the state news agency SANA said five mortar shells slammed into Damascus' predominantly Christian Bab Touma neighborhood, wounding 22 people.