ALEPPO, Syria, Sept 27, 2012 (AFP) - Syrian troops pummelled districts in east Aleppo on Thursday, after an overnight rebel attack on an army checkpoint outside the northern metropolis, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Observatory reported army shelling of the Maysar and Hanano districts in eastern Aleppo, while the Local Coordination Committees said heavy artillery was being used to bombard Sakhur district, also in the east.
The LCC, a network of opposition activists on the ground, also reported heavy artillery fire hitting Suleiman al-Halabi Street in the city centre.
The army shelled rebel areas across the northern province of Aleppo overnight, the Britain-based Observatory reported one civilian killed in the town of Anadan.
It said that before dawn, a car bomb exploded at an army checkpoint in the northwest province of Idlib -- about 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Aleppo city -- on the highway to Damascus.
Fierce clashes followed that raged into the morning, the watchdog said, adding that there were no immediate reports of casualties.
In what appeared to be the same attack, a military source said clashes broke out overnight at a checkpoint in the same area after a minibus exploded.
“When we saw the bus with just one driver and no one else in it, we thought it was suspicious and told him to stop. He didn't and when we shot the driver the bus veered off the road and exploded,” the source told AFP.
“The explosion was so big. We saw a huge fireball that even cut the electricity cables above,” he added.
A large number of rebels then attacked the checkpoint near the town of Barqum from the west and the south, according to the military source, who said the fighting lasted until 7:30 AM (04H30 GMT) when the rebels pulled back.
According to AFP reporters, the rebels have made huge gains in northern Syria and control large swathes of territory in Idlib and Aleppo province.
The rebels claim to control all of the axes around Aleppo, the country's second city, and say that their only fear is aerial attacks.
Elsewhere on Thursday, clashes broke out in the central province of Homs, the coastal province of Latakia and the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, where one rebel was reported killed, the Observatory said.
The violence came after what the Observatory said was the bloodiest day yet of the conflict, with more than 305 people killed nationwide on Wednesday.
Syrian commanders and members of Aleppo's most important rebel unit, the Liwa al-Tawhid brigade, gather for a daily meeting in their headquarters in Izaa neighborhood of Aleppo on September 25, 2012. Rebel commanders blame the current stalement in the city on their lack of ammunition as their current depleted supply, eked out by strategically placed snipers, is just enough to defend the positions they already hold but not to advance, as regime forces and rebels remain holed up either side of the front line. AFP PHOTO