Syria rebels fight army advance on seized town

AFP , Saturday 13 Oct 2012

A fierce battle between Syrian Rebel fighters and Assad regime army to control town of Maaret al-Numan in the northwest on the road from Turkey

Syrian rebels tried on Saturday to block army reinforcements advancing towards the town of Maaret al-Numan which has been under rebel control for nearly a week, an AFP journalist said.

In its bid to retake the town, strategically located in the northwest on the road from Turkey to the embattled city of Aleppo, the army used warplanes to bombard Maaret al-Numan, killing at least two civilians and destroying at homes.

Some 40 military vehicles, including 10 tanks, four-wheel-drive vehicles with mounted machineguns and buses full of troops were waiting some 10 kilometres (six miles) south of the town, rebel fighters told AFP.

The rebel Free Syrian Army seized control of Maaret al-Numan on Tuesday, pushing the army out into two military bases on its outskirts. Rebels have also seized part of the road running through the town, which has slowed the army's advance.

Regime forces have been launching rockets daily from the two bases in the outskirts, focusing their fire mainly on an underground emergency field hospital.

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