Syrian Rebels Attack Police Post in Northern Damascus, 7 Killed

A view shows wreckage after Syrian rebels attacked a security compound at Bab Musalla area in Damascus, June 23, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.
Syrian rights activists say rebels have attacked a police post northern Damascus, triggering a battle with security forces that killed at least seven people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three rebels and four policemen were killed in Sunday's fighting. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have intensified attacks on rebels on the outskirts of Damascus in recent days, in a bid to drive them out of his seat of power in the capital.

Elsewhere, the Observatory said a car bomb killed 12 Syrian troops in the northern city of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese security official says two Lebanese soldiers were killed in fighting between followers of a radical Sunni cleric allied to Syria's rebels, and Shi'ite militants loyal to President Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shia Islam.

The Syrian civil war increasingly has spilled into neighboring states such as Lebanon and Turkey and across cease-fire lines in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.