Mortar fire kills one near Syria gov't building

Mortar fire killed at least one person on Tuesday in western Damascus near the headquarters of the Syrian government, Syrian state media reported.

"A citizen was martyred and two others were injured by mortar shells fired by terrorists this afternoon on the Kfar Sousa residential area," the official SANA news agency reported.

The attack damaged a number of cars in the area, which is home to a several security headquarters and official buildings, including the council of ministers and the foreign and interior ministries.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog confirmed that mortar rounds "fell in the area around the council of ministers."

Elsewhere, state television station Al-Ikhbariya reported that "terrorist fired mortar shells at the Qasaa neighbourhood," a largely Christian district in central Damascus.

The capital has come under increasing mortar fire from rebels arrayed in suburbs on the outskirts of the city, from where they are able to target central neighbourhoods still under regime control.

Troops have been fighting fierce battles in several of these suburbs in a bid to eject the rebels.

Meanwhile, in the northern city of Aleppo, the Observatory reported violent clashes between regime troops and opposition fighters near the Al-Kindi hospital that left around 10 rebels and five soldiers dead.

At least 39 people have been killed in violence throughout the country on Tuesday, according to the Observatory, which has an extensive network of activists and doctors inside Syria.