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updated: 2/26/2014 6:43 AM

Syria: Army ambushes al-Qaida-linked rebels

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  • In this photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014, this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels praying at the frontline of Sheikh Najjar village, in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian state media say troops have killed scores of al-Qaida-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus.

      In this photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014, this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels praying at the frontline of Sheikh Najjar village, in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian state media say troops have killed scores of al-Qaida-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus.

 
Associated Press

BEIRUT -- Syrian state media say troops have killed scores of al-Qaida-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus.

Wednesday's report by SANA said the rebels, belonging to the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, were killed near Oteibah lake southeast of Damascus.

In a live broadcast from the area, Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV station showed dozens of bodies scattered along an unpaved road.

An army colonel told Al-Mayadeen that his troops acted on intelligence and the rebels lost "more than 150 men" in the assault.

There was no immediate word from activists who track violence in Syria, nor any way to confirm if the rebels were from the Nusra Front or another group.

Syrian army tanks and armored personnel carriers were seen in the broadcast as were soldiers patrolling on foot.

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