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Originally published Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 4:48 AM

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Syrian troops push into strategic southern town

An activist group says government forces have pushed into a strategic town south of Damascus on the highway leading to the border with Jordan.

The Associated Press

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BEIRUT —

An activist group says government forces have pushed into a strategic town south of Damascus on the highway leading to the border with Jordan.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the troops' advance in Khirbet Ghazaleh comes after weeks of fighting and government's attempt to secure the highway.

The Observatory and another activist group, the Aleppo Media Center, say opposition fighters have shot down a fighter jet that was bombing rebel positions in the battle for the Mannagh airbase near the border with Turkey.

Wednesday's violence comes as Syria is experiencing an Internet outage similar to a two-day blackout last year, according to companies that monitor online traffic around the world.

Mobile and landline phone services also appeared to be down across Syria.

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