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Syrian rebels capture oilfield near Iraqi border
The state-run SANA news agency said the bomb weighted around 110 pounds and went off about 1,500 feet from the army chief of staff’s building.
The pro-government Ikhbariyeh TV said the explosives were planted under a car, parked in an outdoor lot near the country’s main labor union building. At least 12 people, all union members, were wounded by shattered glass, the organization’s chief, Mohammad Azouz, told the AP.
In Raqqa province, gunmen broke into the home of Baath party official Ismail al-Hamadeh at dawn and sprayed him with bullets as he slept, according to a SANA report.
Elsewhere in Syria, activists said the army clashed with rebels in the northern cities of Idlib and Aleppo, as well as in Damascus and the southern border town of Daraa, where the uprising began.
In the Damascus suburbs of Harasta and al-Hajira, the army and opposition fighters exchanged heavy fire, killing a handful of rebels, SANA said. The fiercest fighting took place in Harem, on the edge of Idlib, where 30 civilians were killed allegedly in clashes between rebels and the army, the agency said.
The Observatory said the Syrian army launched airstrikes on rebel hideouts in Idlib’s suburbs, mainly the strategic city of Maaret al-Numan, which rebels captured three weeks ago. Their presence in the city, along the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo, has disrupted the military’s main supply route to the northern front.
Associated Press writers Bassam Mroue in Beirut, Albert Aji in Damascus and Adam Schreck in Baghdad contributed to this report.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
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