Suicide bombers targeted Syrian troops and a hospital on Wednesday in the rugged Qalamoun hills north of Damascus, where rebels are struggling to reverse Government gains that threaten to cut one of their main supply lines, said activists and officials.

There was no immediate word on casualties from the attacks in Nabak and Deir Attiyeh, part of a string of communities lying along a route used by rebels to bring supplies from nearby Lebanon to opposition-held enclaves outside the capital and in the central city of Homs.

A suicide car bomber targeted a checkpoint manned by Syrian soldiers while another blew up near a security headquarters, both on the edge of the town of Nabak, said Rami Abdurrahman from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist based near the town.

Syrian television reported that in another incident, two Saudi citizens tried to blow up the hospital of Deir Attiyeh but they were pushed by army forces. Abdurrahman and the activists confirmed the attack but had no further details.

Abdurrahman said the rebels belonged to al-Qaida linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. He obtains his information from a network of activists on the ground.

Fighting has been going on in the region since last week, when forces loyal to the government of President Bashar Assad started an offensive against towns overlooking rebel supply lines. A government victory would tighten the siege of rebel-held enclaves near Damascus, where fighters are losing ground to the army and residents suffer from chronic food shortages.

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