More bloodshed as military launches offensive in Damascus suburbs

Activists say more than 60 people have been killed in a new round of violence in Syria.

In this image taken from amateur video made available by Sham News Network in Syria on Tuesday Dec. 13, 2011, show burning cars after being attacked by Assad supporters in Homs Syria, on Tuesday.(AP Photo/Sham News Network, via APTN) TV OUT

BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say more than 60 people have been killed in a new round of violence in Syria.

Syria's military stormed rebellious areas near Damascus today, shelling neighborhoods that have fallen under the control of army dissidents and clashing with fighters.

Soldiers with tanks and dozens of armored vehicles stormed a belt of suburbs and villages on the eastern outskirts of Damascus. Some of the fighting took place less than three miles from the capital.

The large-scale offensive suggests that the regime is worried that military defectors could close in on Damascus, which has remained relatively quiet while other Syrian cities descended into chaos after the uprising began in March.

Violence occurred elsewhere in the country as well, including a roadside bombing south of the capital that killed six soldiers.

The United Nations says at least 5,400 people have been killed in the 10 months of violence.

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