Syria: Clashes in capital as Internet still cut

In this citizen journalism image provided by the Homs City Union of The Syrian Revolution, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting,  Syrian citizens walk in a destroyed street that was attacked on Wednesday by Syrian forces warplanes, at Abu al-Hol street in Homs province, Syria, Thursday Nov. 29, 2012. Two US-based Internet-monitoring companies say Syria has shut off the Internet nationwide. Activists in Syria reached Thursday by satellite telephone confirmed the unprecedented blackout, which comes amid intense fighting in the capital, Damascus.(AP Photo/Homs City Union of The Syrian Revolution)
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In this citizen journalism image provided by the Homs City Union of The Syrian Revolution, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian citizens walk in a destroyed street that was attacked on Wednesday by Syrian forces warplanes, at Abu al-Hol street in Homs province, Syria, Thursday Nov. 29, 2012. Two US-based Internet-monitoring companies say Syria has shut off the Internet nationwide. Activists in Syria reached Thursday by satellite telephone confirmed the unprecedented blackout, which comes amid intense fighting in the capital, Damascus.(AP Photo/Homs City Union of The Syrian Revolution)

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels and government troops are clashing south of the capital as Internet and telephones lines remain cut for a second day nationwide.

President Bashar Assad's regime and opposition activists blamed each other for the blackout, which is the first to hit the whole country since Syria's 20-month-old uprising began.

Syrian authorities previously have cut Internet and telephones in areas ahead of military operations.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were intense clashes after midnight in villages and towns near the country's airport but it was quiet Friday morning. It said rebels were able to destroy several army vehicles near the airport.

The group, which has a network of activists around Syria, reported fighting in southern neighborhoods of Damascus including Qaboun and Hajar Aswad.