Ugarit News Group via APTN) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIAL. TV OUT, Associated Press
This image from amateur video made available by the Ugarit News group and shot on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, purports to show a funeral in Damascus, Syria. The Syrian military launched an offensive to regain control of suburbs on the eastern edge of Damascus on Sunday, storming neighborhoods and clashing with groups of army defectors in fierce fighting that sent residents fleeing and killed at several people, activists said.

BEIRUT — Syrian activists report hearing gunfire and explosions in suburbs of Damascus as the country's conflict moves ever closer to the capital.

Monday's reports by the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group, could not be independently confirmed.

On Sunday, Syrian troops in dozens of tanks and armored vehicles stormed rebellious areas near the capital, shelling neighborhoods that have fallen under the control of army dissidents and clashing with fighters.

Activists and residents said at least 62 people were killed in violence nationwide.

The widescale Sunday offensive suggested the regime is worried that military defectors could close in on Damascus, the seat of President Bashar Assad's power.