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Originally published Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:19 AM

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Syrian rebels attack base near military factories

An activist group is reporting that Syrian rebels have tried to storm a base protecting a military industrial compound in the north.

The Associated Press

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BEIRUT —

An activist group is reporting that Syrian rebels have tried to storm a base protecting a military industrial compound in the north.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven rebels were killed in the attack on the air defense base in the town of al-Safira.

The Observatory's chief Rami Abdul-Rahman says that al-Safira, just south of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, is home to Syrian military factories.

He says the plants are surrounded by army bases and posts to protect them.

Friday's clashes come three days after rebels captured a warehouse in the area. It was later bombed by Syrian warplanes, killing nearly two dozen rebels, Abdul-Rahman said.

The conflict in Syria that began in March 2011 and became a civil war has left more than 40,000 people dead.

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