A Syrian woman walks past a house destroyed from a government airstrike, at Jabal al-Zaweya village of Sarjeh, in Idlib, Syria, Monday Feb. 25, 2013. Syria is ready to hold talks with the armed opposition trying to topple President Bashar Assad, the country's foreign minister said Monday, in the government's most advanced offer yet to try to resolve the 2-year-old civil war through negotiations. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian state news agency and anti-regime activists have reported violence near a landmark, historic mosque in the northern city of Aleppo.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels were clashing with government forces near the Umayyad Mosque amid intense gunfire and explosions.
The news agency, SANA, said "terrorists" had detonated explosives near the mosque's wall.
The 12th century house of worship, also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo, sits near a medieval covered market in Aleppo's walled city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mosque was heavily damaged in October, 2012, and a fire torched the market the month before.
The U.N. says some 70,000 have been killed since Syria's conflict began in March 2011.