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Activists: 75 rebels die in Damascus

on July 22, 2013 10:00 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government troops killed at least 75 rebels over 24 hours in battles for control of the capital, Damascus, activists said today, one of the deadliest single-day tolls for opposition fighters in the two-year-old conflict.

The death toll, reported by the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, included 49 rebels killed in an ambush in Damascus’ northeastern suburb of Adra early Sunday. The group said an elite Republican Guard unit attacked the rebels as they were trying to push into the capital, and that the government commander leading the operation also died in the ensuing gunbattle.

The Observatory reported that another 17 rebels died in fighting Sunday in clashes in the Damascus neighborhoods of Qaboun and Jobar, while another nine were killed in clashes that have raged in the suburbs of Daraya, Harasta and Douma.

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