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7 killed as intense fighting rages across Syria.

UT ACAR bomb hit a security post near Damascus on Tuesday killing two soldiers as fighting raged around the capital and in northern Syria, where at least five people died in an airstrike near an olive press, a watchdog said. "A car bomb exploded at dawn, targeting a military police checkpoint in Jdeidet Artuz," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding that at least two soldiers died in the blast.

Intense shooting followed the explosion, it said, as army troops were deployed between Kfar Sousa, on the southern belt of the capital, and the small town of Daraya, a few kilometres to the southwest.

Fighting has raged around Damascus since summer, when the army launched an intensive operation to drive rebels out of their strongholds near the capital, particularly in southern districts.

Insurgents have set up rear bases in areas of Damascus province where anti-regime sentiment runs high and where some of their best-organised and fiercest groups are located.

Battles also raged on Tuesday in Moadamiyet al Sham and nearby Daraya, where a massacre in August killed more than 500 people, according to the Observatory.

In Idlib province in northwestern Syria, an aerial bombardment near an olive press killed at least five people and wounded dozens, the Observatory said.

"We have been able to document the names of five people killed, and 30 injured, including some badly wounded," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said adding that the air strike hit an area some two kilometres west of the provincial capital.

In the same province, rebelheld Maaret al Numan was also bombed from the air as clashes raged at the southern entrance of the town that is strategically located on the Damascus-Aleppo road.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al Assad broke out in March last year, according to the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers for its data.

Meanwhile, a Syrian newspaper on Tuesday published the names of 142 foreign fighters from 18 countries the regime says were killed alongside rebels in Syria's conflict.

Pro-regime Al Watan published a list, which it said Damascus sent to the UN Security Council last month, that included Arab, North African, Central and South Asian "terrorists," giving the date and place of their death.

"Most are jihadists who belong to Al Qaeda's network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria," the paper said, adding that they entered Syria via Turkey and Lebanon.

Among the 142 it named 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Nov 28, 2012
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