Discuss as:

Heavy fighting rocks eastern Syria

Joseph Eid / AFP - Getty Images

A picture shows destruction in the Bayyada district of the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs on Saturday.

Heavy fighting between rebels and government troops erupted in the capital of an oil producing province in eastern Syria, residents and activists said on Sunday, the latest escalation of violence in a tribal area bordering Iraq.

Rebels armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked tank positions in the eastern sector of the city of Deir al-Zor on the Euphrates river into the early hours of Sunday, in response to an army offensive against several towns and villages in the province that have killed tens of people in recent days, they said.


"The fighting subsided early in the morning. We do not have a death toll because no one is daring to go into the streets," said Ghaith Abdelsalam, an opposition activist who lives near Ghassan Abboud roundabout. At least five army tanks had been deployed on each street leading to the roundabout, a flashpoint for the fighting, he added. 

 

On Saturday, explosion killed several people in Aleppo and two blasts hit a Damascus highway on Saturday in further signs that rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad are shifting tactics towards homemade explosives. 

ITV's Bill Neely reports from both sides of the frontlines in Syria.  Each side accuses the other of the same crimes and neither is willing to stop fighting.

Syria's state news agency said three people had been killed, one of them a child, and 21 wounded by a booby-trapped car in the northern city of Aleppo. 

 The British-based Syrian Observatory for Humans Rights, which monitors the 14-month-old revolt against Assad, said the blast killed five and wrecked a car wash in Tal al-Zarazeer, one of the poorest suburbs of Syria's commercial hub. 

More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:

Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world