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Syria Crisis: Raqqa Governor Held by Rebels ‘As City Falls’

Clashes in Syria

Damascus – Syrian rebels have captured the governor of the northern province of Raqqa after over-running most its capital city, activists say. Amateur video said to be from Raqqa appeared to show Hassan Jalili and another senior ruling party official seated among jubilant armed fighters. The takeover of Raqqa would mark a major gain for the rebels in their two-year fight against the regime.

Reports say clashes were continuing in parts of Raqqa, with more troops sent. In the past rebels have often struggled to hold on to territory they have taken. Pro-regime forces – including those at the provincial airport about 60km (40 miles) from Raqqa – remain a threat, fighters in the city said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based activist group, said after much of Raqqa fell to rebels, warplanes carried out two air raids on the city. There were reports of casualties.

SOHR director Rami Abdul-Rahman said fierce fighting was taking place around the intelligence building and other areas, and that some of Raqqa was still under government control, the Associated Press news agency reported. (BBC)

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