Damascus: The Syrian troops Friday thwarted a rebel infiltration attempt into a main square east of the capital Damascus, pro-government activists and sources said.
A rebel group was trying to sneak into the al-Abbasiyeen square through a tunnel they dug from the rebel-held Jobar suburb. The forces blew up the tunnel, while the rebels responded by blowing up a building between Jobar and the square, Xinhua reported.
The rebels said security forces were in the building, but pro-government activists said it was empty.
Local media reports said mortar shells fired by the rebels exploded in the vicinity of the square, injuring a number of people.
The rebels` attempt was the latest in a series of other similar moves which were largely carried out from Jobar, one of the rebel-occupied areas in the Eastern al-Ghouta countryside.
In a related incident Friday, the Syrian troops also foiled an infiltration attempt by the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in the town of Rankous, some 45 km north of Damascus, activists and the media said. Many rebels were killed as a result of the attack.
According to the UN, well over 100,000 people have been killed and an estimated nine million others driven from their homes since opposition protesters first sought to oust President Bashar al-Assad and his government in March 2011.