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Syrian Activists: 6 People Died Each Hour of October

Smoke rises from a damaged building hit by pro-government forces as clashes continue with the Free Syrian Army, near the Old Town of Aleppo, November 2, 2012.
Syrian activists say an average of six people died every hour last month in the war-torn country.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights released a statement Saturday saying 4,532 people died from unrest in Syria during the month of October. This equates to 147 people dying each day and six dying each hour.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels launched an offensive against government troops Saturday morning to take the northern Taftanaz airbase. The base is near the main highway between the capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, where rebels and the military have been battling for control for months.

On Friday, the Observatory said rebels had taken control of Saraqeb, a strategic northern town crucial to the government's fierce campaign against rebels in the embattled city of Aleppo. The Observatory also said forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had completely withdrawn from the town.

Government troops have for months been fighting rebel forces for control of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial capital.

The Syrian conflict is entering its 20th month and has caused the deaths of an estimated 36,000 people. Hundreds of people were killed in the past week as the government has stepped up airstrikes against rebel-controlled areas.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.