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Activists: Syrian rebels seize strategic hospital in northern city despite government bombing

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke billows from a building after a blast in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. In northern Syria, government war planes have bombed rebel-held districts of Aleppo for the fifth straight day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with casualties in attacks that have so far killed nearly 200 people, activists said. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP Video)

    In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke billows from a building after a blast in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. In northern Syria, government war planes have bombed rebel-held districts of Aleppo for the fifth straight day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with casualties in attacks that have so far killed nearly 200 people, activists said. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP Video)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a woman carries a child out of a building after a blast at the building in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. In northern Syria, government war planes have bombed rebel-held districts of Aleppo for the fifth straight day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with casualties in attacks that have so far killed nearly 200 people, activists said. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP Video)

    In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a woman carries a child out of a building after a blast at the building in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. In northern Syria, government war planes have bombed rebel-held districts of Aleppo for the fifth straight day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with casualties in attacks that have so far killed nearly 200 people, activists said. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP Video)  (The Associated Press)

  • This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center, AMC, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian citizens stand on rubble of houses that were destroyed due to Syrian forces airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Syrian government aircraft dumped barrels packed with explosives on at least four opposition-held neighborhoods of Aleppo on Wednesday, the fourth day of stepped-up airstrikes on the contested northern city, activists said. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)

    This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center, AMC, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian citizens stand on rubble of houses that were destroyed due to Syrian forces airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Syrian government aircraft dumped barrels packed with explosives on at least four opposition-held neighborhoods of Aleppo on Wednesday, the fourth day of stepped-up airstrikes on the contested northern city, activists said. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say Syrian rebels have gained control of a strategic hospital in the city of Aleppo despite days of relentless barrel-bombings of opposition-held areas in the northern city.

Two activist groups — the Aleppo Media Center and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — say the rebels captured the hospital on Friday.

Aleppo-based activist Abu al-Hassan Marea says the rebels who overran the shattered building of the Kindi hospital in Aleppo included both conservative Muslim groups and al-Qaida linked factions.

The hospital is close to Aleppo's besieged central prison, which rebels have been trying to capture for months to free their comrades.

Syrian warplanes, meanwhile, pushed on with dumping deadly barrel-bombs on opposition strongholds in Aleppo for the seventh day Saturday.