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Originally published Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4:05 AM

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Clashes erupt in flashpoint Syrian district

Syrian activists say rebels are clashing with government troops in a flashpoint neighborhood in central Syria, a day after opposition fighters entered the area.

The Associated Press

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BEIRUT —

Syrian activists say rebels are clashing with government troops in a flashpoint neighborhood in central Syria, a day after opposition fighters entered the area.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the government forces are firing heavy machine guns and have launched an airstrike to dislodge the rebels on Monday from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs.

The neighborhood gained notoriety early in the uprising as a center of opposition to President Bashar Assad's regime. Government forces shelled the neighborhood for months, then retook it after a month-long siege last year. Hundreds were killed.

The U.N. says more than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's crisis, which began in March 2011 and has since become a civil war.

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