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Syrian troops fight rebels in Damascus suburb

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 26, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.

— Syrian troops raided an opposition stronghold near the capital on Saturday, killing rebels and uncovering tunnels they used to move around and smuggle weapons, the state-run news agency said.

SANA said three tunnels were discovered after clashes in Daraya, just south of the capital, Damascus. Syrian troops have been trying to capture Daraya for weeks, but have faced strong resistance from hundreds of rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

The rebels have used Damascus suburbs to stage attacks on nearby government facilities.

The conflict in Syria began nearly two years ago after a peaceful uprising against Assad turned violent. The unrest was inspired by the Arab Spring wave of revolutions that toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

More than 60,000 have been killed since the fighting began in March 2011, according to the U.N. Since then, the Syrian opposition has taken control of wide swathes of territory, mostly in the north near Syria’s border with Turkey.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported an air raid Saturday on the northern town of Al-Bab, which killed at least four people and wounded others.

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