Violent clashes rage on in Syria's al-Raqqa city
DAMASCUS, Mar 02, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Violent clashes raged on in Syria
's northeastern city of al-Raqqa between the Syrian troops and
rebel fighters trying to storm the city in the hope of taking
control over it, activists said Saturday.
Clashes erupted Saturday in al-Raqqa when the rebels tried to
storm the city from different directions, local reports said,
adding that the Syrian troops "are still defending the city and
its central prison."
The activists' network Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also
reported the fighting in al-Raqqa, saying that "violent clashes
have been taking place, since today morning between fighters from
many rebel battalions and regime forces around the al-Raqqa city."
The clashes are coupled with sounds of explosions and the
hovering of helicopter gunships over the area, the Observatory
said, adding that the clashes have left tens of deaths so far from
both sides. But the number could not be verified.
Al-Raqqa, some 550 km northeast of the capital Damascus, is a
strategic area close to the Turkish border. The rebels have been
attempting to consolidate their positions in that area in a bid to
gain more grounds before possible negations.
Meanwhile, the army has managed to wrest back control over al-
Yaroubieh border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border in less than
24 hours after fighters from al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other
radical groups stormed it on Friday, local media reported.
Clashes were also reported to have renewed in several hotspots
around the capital and elsewhere in the unrest-torn country on
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