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Syrian Rebels Say They Have Seized an Air Defense Post and Its Missiles

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE

By Sok | September 27, 2012 11:54 am

The videos from the air defense base, in Al Bukamel, near Syria’s border with Iraq, could not be independently verified. They showed rebel fighters strolling through a darkened building, with the bodies of at least two government soldiers lying on the ground.

One of the dead soldiers is covered in what looks like ash. Soldiers stand over another body, caked in blood, as someone pokes the dead man’s head with a rifle. After the capture of the base, antigovernment groups said that several people were killed when government warplanes attacked the area, raising questions about the rebels’ ability to hold the site.

Also on Saturday, Syria’s state news agency said that the government had released more than 300 people detained during recent fighting in the Damascus suburbs, Homs, Aleppo and Dara’a. The news agency said the detainees had been “involved in recent events,” but had committed no crimes.Men at work

A reporter with Agence France-Presse who interviewed some detainees as they emerged from a Damascus police station said several appeared to have been beaten. Some left the station wearing nothing but underwear and others were shoeless. One detainee said that he had spent 32 days in solitary confinement for having a damaged identity card.

In recent days, activists and international filmmakers have expressed concern about the fate of Orwa Nyrabia, a leading figure in Syrian cinema believed to have been arrested at the Damascus airport on Aug. 23. Mr. Nyrabia, founder and artistic director of the Damascus Dox Box Film Festival, had been en route to Cairo, said Mohammad al-Attar, a Syrian playwright and friend.

He has left the country many times before, for short trips,” Mr. Attar said. “For me there was no clear reason” for the government to arrest Mr. Nyrabia. “They have their own plans. You never know when it’s the time.”

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