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Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:37PM
Militants fighting in Syria (File photo)

Militants fighting in Syria (File photo)

Armed groups in northwestern Syria have abducted more than 300 people over two days in an unprecedented string of sectarian kidnappings, report says. "In two days, the number of abductees has risen to over 300 people," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director, Rami Abdel Rahman, said Saturday. The kidnappings, involving large numbers of women and children, began on Thursday when upwards of 40 civilians from the villages of Fua and Kafraya were kidnapped by militants in Idlib Province. Kidnappings have multiplied in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian unrest nearly two years ago. Meanwhile in Syria's northern province of Aleppo, clashes erupted between militants and government forces in the vicinity of the Aleppo international airport, Nayrab military airbase and around the Kwiyres military airbase in the Eastern part of the city. Four Turkish officers were also killed during the Saturday clashes in Aleppo, Syria's second city and its former commercial hub. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the Syrian turmoil. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals. Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes. PG/HGH/SL
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