Internet, phones cut in parts of Syrian capital

In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Free Syrian Army fighter reacts after firing his weapon toward a military tank, unseen, in Daraa, Syria, on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say authorities have blocked Internet and cell phone signals in parts of the nation's capital, where rebels and government troops are engaged in fierce clashes.

An activist near Damascus who gave his name as Abu Sham says the government cut the Internet in the southern neighborhoods of the capital on Thursday.

Another activist, Abu Qais al-Shami, who lives outside the country, also says land lines, mobile phone signals and the Internet were cut in several of the capital's southern neighborhoods, including Yarmouk and Tadamon, around noon.

He says he has been able to communicate with contacts in Syria by using satellite telephones.

The government has previously cut phone lines and Internet access in areas where regime forces are conducting major military operations.