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Activists: Syrian Rebels Use Tanks Against Gov't Troops

A Syrian military tank is shown as having caught fire outside Deir Ezzor in this January 29, 2013, file photo.
A Syrian activist group says rebels are using captured government tanks to attack troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the east of the country.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had reports that rebels were using the tanks Sunday to shell an army brigade and military airport near the city of Deir Ezzor. There also were reports of fighting all across the country.

Deir Ezzor is one of the last government strongholds in a country torn by nearly two years of fighting and the deaths of an estimated 60,000 people. The rebels are seeking to overthrow President Assad's government but are unable to overcome the regime's superior fire power.

Late last week, Syrian warplanes bombed a key road in Damascus in a bid to halt a rebel advance threatening the president's hold on the capital.

Some of the heaviest fighting in months broke out Wednesday in Damascus, with the rebel Free Syrian Army saying it had launched an operation to "liberate" the city.

The Syrian Observatory said more than 170 people died in fighting across the country Wednesday.