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Report: Syrian troops repulse rebels in Aleppo

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January 7, 2013 04:46 AM EST | AP

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BEIRUT — Syria's state news agency says government troops have repulsed a rebel attack on a police school in the northern city of Aleppo, killing and wounding opposition fighters.

Monday's report by SANA comes the day after a rare public speech by President Bashar Assad, in which he called on Syrians to fight rebels who he characterized as religious extremists.

SANA did not specify the number of casualties reportedly inflicted on the "terrorist group," the pro-regime media's usual term for the rebels.

The rebels have recently made significant advances, capturing air bases and military installations in the east and around Damascus, the seat of Assad's power.

In his speech Sunday, Assad laid out terms for a peace plan but dismissed any chance of dialogue with "murderous criminals."