BEIRUT - Some 310 people died in all of Syria on Thursday, a day regarded as the bloodiest civil war since it began in a revolt 16 months ago against the regime of President Bashar Assad, said Friday Syrian activists.
The conflict has escalated much more in Syria last week as rebels get closer and closer to the capital, Damascus, and launched the worst attacks against Assad's inner circle, killing at least three of his collaborators rank.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said Friday that at least 93 of those killed on Thursday were government troops.
Local Coordination Committees, documenting the deaths of civilians, said that 217 civilians were killed on Thursday.
It is difficult to verify the death toll in Syria, which is under strict control and imposes drastic restrictions on journalists.
It was also reported that troops loyal to Assad regained full control of a rebel neighborhood of the capital, Damascus, said the Syrian state television Friday.
The opposition confirmed the incident, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, said government troops backed by tanks entered the district of Midan.
The activist based in Damascus, Khaled al-Shami, contacted by the Associated Press via the internet, says the rebels made a "tactical retreat" on Friday to spare the civilian population of more shelling area after five days of fierce clashes between the opposition and government forces.
Fighting in Midan and other districts turned to Damascus in a combat zone this past week, and violence in the capital reached its highest point since the outbreak of the popular uprising in March last year. The clashes led to thousands of Syrians across the border into Lebanon on Thursday.