Activists: Mortar shells hit market in Syria, killing 20

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Two activist groups say Syrian troops fired mortar rounds that slammed into a main market in a town in northern Syria today, killing at least 20 civilians.

The mortar shells struck a town (Ariha) that is held mostly by opposition fighters, a few hours ahead of the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, two opposition groups tracking the violence in Syria, say the dead include two children and two women.

Also today, state media said government forces killed nearly 50 rebels in an ambush near Damascus.

Separately, Kurdish rebels freed the local commander of an al-Qaida-linked group in a town near Syria's northern border with Turkey in return for 300 Kurdish civilians detained by the group, as part of an agreement to end rebel infighting that erupted a day earlier in the region.

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