Scores of militants killed across Syria

A Syrian rebel shoots at government forces in the northwestern city of Aleppo on November 15, 2012.

Syrian Army soldiers have killed scores of foreign-backed militants fighting government forces during nationwide mop-up operations.

A number of armed men were killed during intense clashes with Syrian troops in the al-Lirmoun neighborhood of Aleppo city, situated 310 kilometers (193 miles) north of the capital Damascus, on Sunday, the official SANA news agency reported.

Government forces also destroyed several cars used by terrorists, among them a pickup truck equipped with a heavy machine gun, after the battles.

Syrian Army troops also defused six explosive devices, weighing between 30 and 80 kilograms, near a hospital in Aleppo.

In addition, Syrian troops engaged several foreign-sponsored gunmen as they were trying to steal rolls of cotton fabric from a textile workshop in the city.

Also on Sunday, a unit of soldiers arrested eight armed men in Aleppo, who had terrorized citizens and committed numerous counts of murder, robbery, and looting.

Separately, Syrian government forces attacked gunmen and killed a large number of them in the Manaq, Rasm al-Abboud, Keshish, and al-Safira districts of Aleppo Province.

A pickup truck equipped with Dushka machine guns was destroyed in the clashes, and a large amount of munitions was also confiscated.

Syrian soldiers also inflicted heavy losses on militants in the al-Kelaseh, al-Sokri, Bab al-Neirab and Bani Zaid areas of Aleppo city.

Elsewhere, a unit of Syrian forces attacked gunmen and killed a large number of them in the Abu Khashab neighborhood of Deir al-Zour city, located 450 kilometers (279 miles) northeast of Damascus, on Sunday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.