Helicopter crashes in Damascus: state TV

A Syrian helicopter crashed in eastern Damascus on Monday, state television said, amid reports of shelling and fierce fighting in the area.

The television said it came down near a mosque in the district of Qaboon, but gave no further information.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile said it believed the helicopter "was hit while it was being used in fighting nearby."

It reported clashes between troops and the rebel Free Syrian Army in several areas of Damascus, including the neighbourhood of Jubar -- where anti-regime sentiment is strong -- and several nearby towns east of the city.

The violence flared a day after the Observatory reported the discovery of hundreds of bodies in the town of the Daraya southwest of the capital after what opposition militants said was a "massacre" by government troops.

Syrian rebels claimed to have shot down a warplane on August 13 in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

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