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Shells From Syria Strike Lebanese Border Villages

Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 11:08 AM

BEIRUT — Lebanon's state news agency says shells fired from inside Syria have struck Lebanese border villages.

The National News Agency said the shells exploded in four villages late Saturday near the northern border and that residents reported an unpleasant smell after the strikes.

The agency did not report any dead or wounded or say whether government troops or rebels fired the shells.

Shells and gunfire from the Syrian civil war have repeatedly crossed the border into Lebanon, occasionally killing and wounding civilians.

Meanwhile, activists say Syrian rebels have taken control of at least part of a strategic neighborhood in the northern city of Aleppo after days of heavy fighting.

The Aleppo Media Center opposition group and Aleppo-based activist Mohammed Saeed say rebels seized control of the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheik Maqsoud in its entirety late Friday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, says rebels took only the eastern part of the neighborhood, and reported heavy fighting there Saturday.

The Observatory also said rebels captured a pro-government Sunni Muslim cleric, killed him, then paraded his body around the neighborhood.

State-run Al-Ikhbariya TV identified the cleric as Hassan Seifeddine. It said he was beheaded and his head was placed on the minaret of Al-Hassan Mosque where he used to lead the prayers.

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Lebanon's state news agency says shells fired from inside Syria have struck Lebanese border villages.

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