Syrian rebels have launched an assault on a Damascus district that is home to President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority.
The attack on the Mazzeh 86 district comes as rebels are increasingly targeting areas in the capital inhabited by Assad supporters.
State news agency SANA reported that shelling hit a home and a minibus carrying passengers, killing at least three people and wounding 12 others.
These latest casualties came as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the death toll from fighting in Syria since March 2011 had surpassed 37,000.
More than 26,000 were civilians, according to the group.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa