A number of Syrian civilians have been killed in a series of rocket attacks by foreign - sponsored Takfiri militants against residential areas in the coastal province of Latakia. Syrian government security source said that the civilians lost their lives when several mortar and rocket shells fired by Takfiri militants struck areas in the northern countryside of Latakia on Sunday, Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported. The projectiles also caused substantial damage to public properties and several houses in the targeted areas. The sources added that the shells were fired from the hills adjacent to the Turkish border. However, Fadi Ahmad, a spokesman for the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), denied reports that the armed groups had fired dozens of mortar rounds into rural areas of Latakia Province. The Sunday attack comes as a ceasefire agreed by the United States and Russia took effect in Syria on February 27 midnight Damascus time. The Syrian government accepted the terms of the truce on condition that military efforts against ISIS and the al-Nusra Front Takfiri militants, who are not included in the ceasefire agreement, continue. Syrian army has managed to win back control of several in Latakia, a province where the government of President Bashar al-Assad enjoys considerable support. However, militants, whom Damascus says are backed by Turkey, have been operating in the mountainous regions northeast of the province. The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people and left 1.9 million injured, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research. Moreover, 6.36 million people have been displaced internally and more than four million others have fled the country since the beginning of the conflict. That accounts for 45 percent of the country’s population, which has shrunk by 21 percent. Syria accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming terrorist groups operating inside the country, including ISIS.