Activists says 23 dead in Syria as regime troops battle rebels
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian troops have been battling rebels today in the suburbs of the capital and in the country's south.
Activists say at least 23 people have been killed, including nine soldiers.
Clashes between the military and an increasingly bold and armed opposition has engulfed much of the country in violence. Fighting spread to new areas today, with army dissidents reportedly seizing a security post in a rural town in the northwest.
President Bashar Assad is trying to crush an 11-month-old uprising. The United Nations estimated that the crackdown has left at least 5,400 people dead, but the world body has been unable to update its tally in recent weeks amid mounting chaos.
A new report from Human Rights Watch accuses Assad's forces of arresting, torturing and killing children as part of the crackdown. The group says it has documented at least 12 cases of children detained under "inhuman conditions."
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