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Activists say Syrian missile strike kills 19

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 19, 2013 at 8:16 a.m.

— A Syrian missile strike leveled a stretch of buildings and killed at least 19 people in the city of Aleppo, leaving residents combing through the rubble to find those trapped beneath it, anti-regime activists said Tuesday.

The strike was the latest salvo in a fierce and bloody seven-month battle for Syria’s largest city and economic center, a key prize in the civil war.

Rebels have slowly expanded their control over parts of Aleppo since first storming it last summer. The city is now divided between rebel- and regime-controlled zones.

Rebel forces have been trying for weeks to capture the city’s international airport and two military airbases nearby, while the government is bringing in reinforcements from areas it still controls further south and regularly bombing rebel areas from the air.

The Britain-based activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 people were confirmed dead in the attack late Monday night, including six children and three women.

The activist Aleppo Media Center said more than 40 were killed, though it did not provide names or videos of the dead. There was no way to reconcile the differing tolls.

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