AT least 78 people were killed in violence across Syria on Thursday, a monitoring group says, adding that heavy shelling and gunfire caused most of the deaths.

Thirty-five of those killed were civilians, 25 were regime troops and 18 rebel fighters, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

At least 17 people were killed in the embattled city of Aleppo, scene of fierce battles since July 20.

Six rebels died in Aleppo’s Salaheddin district from which the Free Syrian Army withdrew on Thursday, FSA commanders said.

The Observatory said two rebel commanders were among those killed.

Elsewhere, fierce fighting also broke out in Damascus province, where at least nine people were killed, while regime forces shelled the capital’s Zabadani district.