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Syrian Government Claims Capture Of Key Rebel Stronghold

Syrian state media are reporting troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have captured a rebel stronghold in the strategically important city of Homs.

According to reports on July 29, Syrian troops captured the district of Khaldiyeh as part of an offensive launched a month ago with fighters from Lebanon's Hizballah to retake Syria's third-largest city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights denied that all of Khaldiyeh had been captured, saying fighting was continuing in southern parts of the district.

The fall of Khaldiyeh, which has been controlled by rebels since 2011, would be a second major setback for the rebels, following the capture in June of Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon.

The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have been killed in the 28-month conflict.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and AFP