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Updated: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 09:25:30 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Syrian rebels, al-Qaeda-linked fighters battle in Aleppo



Syrian rebels, al-Qaeda-linked fighters battle in Aleppo

Activists say Syrian rebels and fighters from an al-Qaeda-linked group have turned their guns on each other and are fighting for control of a key checkpoint in the northern city of Aleppo.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Saturday's clashes are focused on the strategic checkpoint in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district.

The checkpoint is the only gateway between rebel-held eastern districts and the city's western areas, controlled by President Bashar Assad's troops.

Earlier this week, al-Qaeda-linked militants seized the checkpoint and closed it for several days, cutting the flow of food supplies to the city and triggering the confrontation.

Residents angry over the blockade have staged protests against the anti-Assad forces as food prices soar in Aleppo at the start of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.

At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since it erupted in March 2011, according to a recent UN estimate. Millions have been displaced.

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