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Syrian troops repel rebels' attack on gunship


07:04, February 04, 2013

DAMASCUS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Armed rebels tried on Sunday to attack a Syrian helicopter gunship in the northeastern province of al-Raqqa when its crew members responded and killed many of the assailants, a pro-government TV said.

The helicopter had to land 15 km away from the al-Thawra military airport in that area due to a malfunction, al-Ekhbaria TV said, adding that the gunmen tried to attack the gunship but they were repelled by the troops.

The TV also reported clashes between the armed rebels and government troops in the vicinity of the central prison of the eastern province of Deir al-Zour on Sunday, adding that many armed men were killed during the clashes.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London- based activists' group, said that the local councilor of the city of Aleppo, Ibrahim Azooz, was killed on Saturday by rebel fighters along with his wife and daughter.

The Observatory on Sunday posted on its Facebook a video footage purporting to show Azooz lying dead in an alley in the Sheik Saeed district.

It also posted a video showing the rebels executing four young men on charges of having connections with the Syrian security forces and the killing of a rebel fighter.

Another video posted by the Observatory showed bodies being pulled out from a destroyed building in what the network said was a result of a bombardment by the Syrian army on al-Ansari al- Sharqi district in Aleppo.

However, pro-Syrian government online news websites said the building was destroyed when armed rebels tried to target a Syrian war jet with a rocket that missed the target and slammed the building at al-Ansari and killed many of its residents.

Yet, neither report could be independently verified.

Blasts and attacks have become daily routines in Syria that has been gripped by a 22-month-old crisis that left more than 60,000 people killed amid faltering efforts for peace, according to UN figures.

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