Clashes Rage in Syria, Loud Blasts Heard in Damascus Provinceإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Clashes raged on Saturday between Syrian troops and rebels in Daraa in the south, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that loud blasts were heard in Damascus province.
Meanwhile, government forces used heavy artillery against rebel positions in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, it added.
Rebels and regime forces also clashed near a village where U.N. peacekeepers are being held hostage, an activist said, complicating efforts to free them.
U.N. officials have said arrangements are in place for the release of the 21 Filipino peacekeepers, but a rescue mission on Friday was aborted because of regime shelling in the area.
A U.N. team was en route to the village Saturday afternoon to retrieve the hostages but stopped several kilometers (miles) away because of the fighting, said a rebel spokesman.
Instead, rebels began escorting the captives to the nearby Syrian-Jordanian border, the spokesman told the Associated Press via Skype, insisting on anonymity for fear of reprisals.
At least 146 people were killed in violence in Syria on Friday, according to the Observatory, in a conflict the U.N. says has killed more than 70,000 people in nearly two years.