Beirut: At least 78 people were killed in violence across Syria on Thursday, including 17 in the embattled city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said, with most of the deaths caused by heavy shelling and gunfire.
    
Thirty-five of those killed were civilians, 25 were regime troops and 18 rebel fighters, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
    
At least 17 people were killed in the northern city of Aleppo, scene of fierce battles since July 20, the Observatory said.
    
Six rebels died in Aleppo's Salaheddin district from which the Free Syrian Army withdrew today, FSA commanders told AFP by telephone. The Observatory said two rebel commanders were among those killed.
    
"We have staged a tactical withdrawal from Salaheddin," said one commander, Hossam Abu Mohammed. "The district is completely empty of rebel fighters. Regime forces are now advancing into Salaheddin."
    
Elsewhere, fierce fighting also broke out in Damascus province, where at least nine people were killed, while regime forces shelled Zabadani, the Observatory said.

(Agencies)

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