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20 Killed in Syria as Thousands Rally for Assad


A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows hundreds of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as they take part in a pro-regime rally in Aleppo, Syria October 19, 2011.

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows hundreds of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as they take part in a pro-regime rally in Aleppo, Syria October 19, 2011.

Tens of thousands of Syrians are rallying in support of the government in the northern city of Aleppo, while Syrian activists say at least 20 people have been killed during unrest in other parts of the country.

The rally Wednesday in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad comes a week after a similar gathering in the capital, Damascus. Aleppo is Syria's commercial center.

Meanwhile, activists say pro-Assad gunmen killed at least six people in the opposition stronghold of Homs Wednesday. Activists said clashes between soldiers and apparent army defectors in Homs province killed seven soldiers. The other deaths occurred near the Lebanese border.

On the political front, Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has officially recognized Syria's opposition National Council as the country's legitimate representative.

Representatives of the Syrian National Council visited the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Wednesday to gain support for the uprising against the Syrian president.

The United Nations says more than 3,000 people have been killed during the government crackdown since anti-Assad protests began in Syria seven months ago.

Syrian authorities have blamed much of the country's violence on gunmen or what they call terrorist groups.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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