Fierce clashes in Syria as fire engulfs old souk
ALEPPO, Syria (AFP) - Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shelled rebel-held areas across Syria on Sunday as fierce clashes were reported in second city Aleppo where a fire tore through a medieval souk.
The fighting in Aleppo city was accompanied by intense overnight shelling that continued into the morning, destroying houses and killing at least three people including two civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Aleppo, Syria's most populous city, has been the main battleground for the past two months of the country's 18-month conflict, and has been gripped by fighting on an unprecedented scale in recent days.
Much of the violence has centred in and around the Old City, and this is believed to have sparked the fire in the centuries-old souk marketplace which destroyed many shops, said an AFP correspondent and the Observatory.