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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Mohammad Saeed
The prisoners are crammed together in small, dark rooms with no water or electricity and barely enough food to survive. Diseases such as scabies and tuberculosis are rampant among them. Every so often, the crash of artillery shells rocks their sprawling prison complex, a stark reminder of the civil war raging outside.
Three suicide bombers detonated cars packed with explosives in a government-controlled area of the battleground Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, killing at least 34 people, leveling buildings and trapping survivors under the rubble, state TV said. More than 120 people were injured, the government said.
Clashes between government troops and rebels raged Thursday in opposition bastions of the besieged city of Aleppo as President Bashar Assad's key state backer, Iran, prepared to host a gathering of allies for talks on how to end the conflict.
Syrian forces threatened Sunday to mount a "decisive battle" for Aleppo, even as rebels clawed toward the city's ancient center under intense bombardment and strafing from warplanes. In the capital Damascus, militiamen appeared to step up guerrilla-like forays in central districts that were once firmly in the regime's hands.
Riding a wave of momentum, Syrian rebels made a run on Aleppo Saturday in some of the fiercest fighting seen in the country's largest city, which has been a key bastion of support for President Bashar Assad over the course of the 17-month-old uprising.
A group of Lebanese Shiites who were kidnapped in Syria were released in good health Friday, three days after Syrian rebels abducted the men as they returned from a religious pilgrimage, officials said.
Syrian security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse thousands rallying Friday in the northern city of Aleppo, which activists said saw the largest turnout since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad in March 2011.
The leader of Syria's main opposition group rejected calls Friday by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for dialogue with President Bashar Assad's government, saying such talks are pointless and unrealistic as long as the regime massacres its own people.
"The guards give very little food to the prisoners and sell them medicine for as much as $10 for a painkiller pill," he said via Skype.
"The life of detainees in that prison is dismal," said Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed.