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Sep 25, 8:07 AM EDT

Syrian rebels reverse government gains in Aleppo stalemate


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BEIRUT (AP) -- A monitoring group says Syrian rebels have retaken an area in Aleppo that fell to government forces the day before, extending a punishing stalemate in the contested northern city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which maintains a network of local contacts, says rebels seized Handarat, a largely uninhabited Palestinian refugee camp, early Sunday.

The area is near Castello Road, a vital supply route to the city's besieged rebel-held areas. Government forces seized the Castello Road earlier this year, besieging rebel-held districts where some 250,000 people reside.

Yasser al-Yousef, a spokesman for the Nour el-Din al-Zinki rebel faction, says rebels seized Handarat late Saturday.

The Observatory says 213 civilians have been killed by airstrikes and shelling on rebel-held areas in and around Aleppo since a cease-fire expired Monday.

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