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Syrian troops capture Damascus suburb near airport

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Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013 9:52 am | Updated: 8:47 pm, Sun Jun 16, 2013.

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's state news agency is reporting that government forces have captured a suburb of Damascus near the capital's international airport.

SANA says troops killed several rebels and destroyed their hideouts in the Ahmadiyeh area on Saturday, two days after a mortar round landed near the airport's runway and briefly disrupted flights.

A local rebel commander who identified himself by his nickname, Abu Hareth, for fear of government reprisals, said soldiers and rebels have been fighting sporadically in the area since late Friday. He said two rebel fighters have been killed there since.

Ahmadiyeh is part of a region known as Eastern Ghouta, where government forces have been on the offensive for weeks.

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