Beirut: At least 15 people were killed on Tuesday across Syria in clashes between regime forces and rebel troops, including near the border with Lebanon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group said nine of those killed were civilians, among them one man who died in intense clashes near the central town of Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon.

Officials said the clashes spilled over into Lebanon as Syrian troops chasing rebels made a brief incursion into a sparsely populated area of Lebanon's eastern Bekaa region.

One Lebanese official, who requested anonymity, said Syrian troops briefly entered the Lebanese side of Masharii al-Qaa, a remote region that straddles both countries.
      
He said one house in the area was hit by mortar rounds and gunfire. Its residents had fled shortly beforehand, he added.
Another local resident said several houses were hit.
      
The border between both countries is poorly demarcated and residents on both sides travel freely across on a regular basis.
      
Syrian troops have made several brief incursions into Lebanon since the outbreak of the revolt against the regime of Bashar al-Assad a year ago.
      
A spokesman for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Ahmed Moussa, said that 75 families had crossed into the eastern Bekaa on Monday.
     
A media person saw three mini-vans filled with women and children fleeing the fighting in Qusayr.
      
Fierce clashes were also taking place on Tuesday in Saraqeb, in the northwest province of Idlib, where there were unconfirmed reports that 21 local residents detained by regime forces had been killed, the Observatory said. Most of Saraqeb's residents have fled the town in recent days in the face of a fierce assault by regime troops seeking to stamp out insurgents in the area.

(Agencies)