Heavy fighting breaks out in Aleppo

Syrian troops and rebels are fighting some of the fiercest battles in the northern city of Aleppo, activists have said.

The clashes are part of a new push by the rebels to drive regime forces out of Syria's largest city and commercial capital after weeks of stalemate.

Aleppo-based activist Baraa al-Halabi said some of the heaviest battles are taking place in a predominantly Kurdish neighbourhood.

The major rebel group in the city - the Tawhid Brigade - said on its Facebook page that its members have entered the Sheikh Maksoud neighbourhood to fight pro-government Kurdish gunmen.

Meanwhile, state-run Syrian TV said government troops repelled an attack on the neighbourhood with the help of its residents.

Aleppo was once a bastion of support for president Bashar Assad.