Activist: Youths protest against Islamists running a rebel-held area in northern Syria

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A British-based group that follows clashes in Syria says there has been a rare protest against Islamists who rule a rebel-held area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that protests happened in the towns of Minbaj and Tabou in the northern province of Aleppo. Youths demonstrated against an al-Qaida-linked group called "The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham." Sham is another word for Syria.

The observatory says clashes also took place in two nearby towns between the group and residents.

It wasn't immediately clear why residents were upset. In the past, some Syrians in rebel-held areas have complained that ruling militants are too extreme for their liking.

Syria is entering its third year of a war that began as an uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad.