Rebels battle in Assad stronghold of Damascus

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Associated Press

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 10 at 1:30 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Violence continues in Syria, as government troops and rebel forces battled in the streets of Damascus for nearly 12 hours.

The rebel fighters took the battle right to the stronghold of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian capital.

It was the heaviest fighting in Damascus since the 15-month uprising against Assad began.

UN observers indicated the rebels fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a local power plan, damaging it and destroying six buses.

The government troops fired three tank shells into a residential neighborhood, according to an activist.

More than 50 civilians were killed around the country outside of Damascus according to a British-based activist group. Among them were 20 including nine women and children in the southern city of Daraa.

Sound:

159-r-31-(Sound of men shouting in the aftermath of shelling in the southern city of Daraa (duh-RAH'), from an amateur video)--Sound from an amateur video purporting to show men shouting after the intense shelling of the southern city of Daraa. ((The AP cannot independently verify the authenticity of this audio)) (9 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *159 (06/09/12)>> 00:31

APPHOTO CAI805: This image made from video released by UNSMIS, the UN observer mission in Syria and accessed Saturday, June 9, 2012, purports to show destroyed buses after overnight fighting in Damascus, Syria. In Damascus, residents spoke about a night of shooting and explosions in the worst violence Syria's capital has seen since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began 15 months ago.(AP Photo/UNSMIS via AP video) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIAL (9 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI805 (06/09/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI804: This image made from amateur video released by Shaam News Network and accessed Saturday, June 9, 2012, purports to show rocket fins and shrapnel damage after overnight fighting in Damascus, Syria. In Damascus, residents spoke about a night of shooting and explosions in the worst violence Syria's capital has seen since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began 15 months ago.(AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIAL (9 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI804 (06/09/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI808: This image made from video released by UNSMIS, the UN observer mission in Syria and accessed Saturday, June 9, 2012, purports to show UN observers touring after overnight fighting in Damascus, Syria. In Damascus, residents spoke about a night of shooting and explosions in the worst violence Syria's capital has seen since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began 15 months ago.(AP Photo/UNSMIS via AP video) (9 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI808 (06/09/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI807: This image made from video released by UNSMIS, the UN observer mission in Syria and accessed Saturday, June 9, 2012, purports to show a UN observer near a destroyed bus after overnight fighting in Damascus, Syria. In Damascus, residents spoke about a night of shooting and explosions in the worst violence Syria's capital has seen since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began 15 months ago.(AP Photo/UNSMIS via AP video) (9 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI807 (06/09/12)>>

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