Syrian forces kill 23 rebels in town near Damascus


BEIRUT — Government forces stormed a rebel-held town outside Damascus today after days of fierce fighting, killing dozens of people including at least 23 fighters, according to activist groups and a rebel spokesman.

In Aleppo, a Japanese TV reporter was killed Monday while covering the fighting. She was the first foreign journalist to die in the city since clashes between rebels and regime forces erupted there almost a month ago.

In neighboring Lebanon, where the civil war in Syria has been spilling across the border, security officials said clashes between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad have left two dead and as many as 45 wounded in some of the most serious fighting in Lebanon in several months.

Damascus and its suburbs have witnessed a dramatic spike in fighting over the past month. And regime forces were further stretched when a major battle for control of the northern city of Aleppo erupted around the end of July. Before that, the fighting had been concentrated outside the big cities during the 17-month-old uprising.


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