Syria rebels, regime troops fight in Aleppo prison

At the U.N., the General Assembly condemned President Bashar Assad’s regime.

At the U.N., the General Assembly condemned President Bashar Assad’s regime.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Rebel fighters battled regime troops inside the walls of the sprawling central prison compound in Syria's largest city Wednesday, hours after blowing open the gate with twin car bombs in an attempted jailbreak, activists said.

The orchestrated assault began at dawn, but by nightfall, the rebels had not dislodged regime forces or freed some 4,000 prisoners held there, according to two pro-opposition monitoring groups.

Across Syria, the Internet was restored after a blackout of more than eight hours, the second nationwide outage in a week. Syria's Communications Ministry blamed a rebel bombing that it said cut a cable north of the capital of Damascus but gave no details. Earlier, the state news agency SANA had linked the outage to a technical problem.

At the United Nations, the General Assembly voted 107-12 with 59 abstentions to approve an Arab-backed resolution calling for a political transition in Syria and condemning President Bashar Assad's regime for "gross violations" of human rights.

Earlier this month, the United States and Russia agreed on a joint push to get Syria's political opposition and representatives of the Assad regime to negotiate a peaceful transition in Syria. An international conference, possibly to be held in early June, would help launch such talks.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called for urgent action Wednesday to pressure the Syrian government and opposition to put forward names for a transitional government that everyone can support so negotiations can get started.

Syria rebels, regime troops fight in Aleppo prison 05/15/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:10am]

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