Damascus: At least 45 rebel fighters were killed Thursday in Syria`s central province of Homs, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reportedly said.
The rebel fighters were killed by the Syrian troops while attempting to break the government troops` year-long siege on rebellious districts in Homs, reported Xinhua citing the report.
The pro-government al-Khabar TV also reported the incident, saying that tens of rebel fighters were killed Thursday while trying to infiltrate into Homs` al-Khalidiyeh district, which was recaptured by the Syrian troops last year.
The TV said the National Defense Unites, a pro-government paramilitary unit, responded to the attack and killed all of the rebels.
Earlier Thursday, 18 people were killed in separate mortar attacks in Homs, Syria`s third largest city, of which the government accused rebels of being behind.