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Syrian jets bomb rebel-held areas near Damascus

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January 24, 2013 05:24 AM EST | AP

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BEIRUT — Activists say Syrian warplanes have bombed rebel-held areas near Damascus as President Bashar Assad's troops battle opposition fighters along the road that links the capital with the main airport.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says fighter jets carried out eight airstrikes on the suburb of Daraya, southwest of Syria's capital, on Thursday.

The group, which relies on reports from activists on the ground, also says heavy fighting is going on near the Damascus International Airport, as well as artillery shelling of the town of Aqraba along the airport road. There are no immediate reports of casualties.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in the nearly two-year-long conflict, which began as peaceful protests against Assad's rule but quickly morphed into a civil war.