Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:48PM - 107 Views

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(AP) Activists say Syrian rebels and government troops are clashing south of the capital as Internet and telephones lines remain cut for a second day nationwide.


President Bashar Assad's regime and opposition activists blamed each other for the blackout, which is the first to hit the whole country since Syria's 20-month-old uprising began.


Syrian authorities previously have cut Internet and telephones in areas ahead of military operations.


The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were intense clashes after midnight in villages and towns near the country's airport but it was quiet Friday morning. It said rebels were able to destroy several army vehicles near the airport.


The group, which has a network of activists around Syria, reported fighting in southern neighborhoods of Damascus including Qaboun and Hajar Aswad.


Associated Press
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