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Syria Violence: Rebel Infighting Kills Nearly 500 People Over The Past Week, Activists Say

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens and Red Crescent workers look for victims at site where a car bomb has exploded near a school, at al-Kaffat village in the central Hama province, Syria, Thursday Jan. 9, 2013. Syrian state media and an opposition watchdog say a car bomb has exploded near a school in a central province, killing several people and wounding dozens. (AP Photo/SANA) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIRUT (AP) — An activist group says rebel infighting in northern Syria has killed nearly 500 people over the past week.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 482 people have been killed in the fighting that has pitted a loose alliance of ultraconservative rebel brigades and more moderate factions against the fighters of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Observatory said the toll includes 240 rebels, 157 fighters from the "Islamic State" and 85 civilians.

The fighting has spread across four provinces in opposition-held parts of northern Syria since it began last Friday.

The al-Qaida-linked group has alienated other factions over the past several months by using brutal tactics to implement its strict interpretation of Islamic law, and by kidnapping and killing of opponents.

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