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Syrian army kills dozens of rebels trying to break siege on opposition-held areas of Homs

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In this Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center, AMC, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following a Syrian government airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian rebel groups battled one another Monday for control of a provincial capital, part of a vicious round of score settling targeting an al-Qaida affiliate that gained stature fighting President Bashar Assad but alienated many by imposing strict Islamic law. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC) (The Associated Press)

Syrian state media and anti-government activists say army troops have killed dozens of rebels who tried to break the military's siege on opposition-held areas of the central city of Homs.

The official SANA news agency said Friday the military killed at least 37 rebels in the Matahen area of Homs. It did not specify when they were killed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights anti-government monitoring group put the death toll at 45 opposition fighters, and said they were killed in heavy fighting late Wednesday and early Thursday.

It had no information on government casualties.

For months, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have imposed a siege on opposition-held areas of Homs.