Rebels take key Syrian town; Aleppo scud attack - activists
Rebels captured a key southern Syrian town, the opposition said Friday, while 20 people were killed in northern Aleppo in an apparent scud missile attack, according to activists, DPA reported.
The rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad are in full control of the town of Daal, located on a highway between the capital Damascus and Daraa in the south, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
At least 17 insurgents, 12 soldiers and nine civilians were killed in fierce fighting with regime troops, the Britain-based watchdog said.
Lawmaker Walid al-Zoghabi, a Daraa native, told state television that "terrorist groups" had made gains in Daraa, which is the birthplace of the two-year uprising against al-Assad in which more than 70,000 people have died, according to conservative United Nations estimates.
In the northern province of Aleppo, at least 20 people were killed in a scud missile attack on the neighbourhood of Harytan, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said.
According to activists, many people are still buried under the rubble. They said black smoke enveloped the area after sounds of explosions were heard.
There have been several earlier reports that al-Assad's military was using scud missiles to target rebel-held areas in the north, and such attacks have been condemned by the United States.
The Observatory also reported clashes in Aleppo's Sheikh Maksoud area between rebels and militants loyal to the regime.
"So far we have 26 killed, from both sides, and more than 100 wounded, among them civilians, in the area of Sheikh Maksoud," said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
Meanwhile, the Syrian navy fired at a Lebanese boat, injuring a fisherman, Lebanon's official National News Agency reported, the incident taking place in Lebanese territorial waters.
Syria has been closely monitoring the northern Lebanese coast to prevent militants from infiltrating into the country to join in the fighting against al-Assad's regime.