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Syrian Rebels Capture Key Southern Town

  • VOA News

Free Syrian Army fighters cheer after saying they seized the al-Yadoudeh government checkpoint in al-Yadoudeh area in Deraa March 24, 2013.

Free Syrian Army fighters cheer after saying they seized the al-Yadoudeh government checkpoint in al-Yadoudeh area in Deraa March 24, 2013.

Syrian activists say rebels captured a strategic town near the border with Jordan Friday, as the opposition continues its advance in the south.

The British Observatory for Human Rights says rebels forced most government troops out of the town of Dael in Daraa province following 24 hours of deadly battles. At least 16 rebels and several others were killed in the fighting.

The area, which has seen renewed clashes, serves as an important gateway to the capital, Damascus. The Observatory also said fighting broke out Friday in areas surrounding the capital, including Qaboon and Yarmuk.

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It comes a day after mortar fire killed as many as 15 students at Syria's Damascus University. State media blamed the attack on the opposition. Opposition activists also reported the bombing, but did not say who was responsible.

The two-year-old civil war, which began as a peaceful uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, has killed at least 70,000 people.

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