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Activists: Fighting rages as Russians leave Syria

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January 22, 2013 05:20 AM EST | AP

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BEIRUT — Syrian activists say fighting between government forces and rebels is raging in the suburbs of Damascus and elsewhere in the country, as a group of Russian citizens prepares to be evacuated to escape the 22-month civil war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the clashes Tuesday are concentrated near the capital, including along the road linking it to the international airport.

Due in part to the fighting, the Russians will travel overland to Lebanon to board airplanes back to their homeland from Beirut.

Russian officials said Monday that the evacuation will include 100 people, out of tens of thousands living in Syria.