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Syrian army recaptures key Christian town

Posted on Apr 14 2014 | IANS

Damascus, April 14 : Syrian solders Monday recaptured a historic Christian town, north of the capital Damascus, the country's official SANA news agency reported.

"Units of the Syrian army have restored security and stability to the town of Maaloula and are currently hunting down terrorists in its vicinity," SANA said.

Late last year, radical jihadists from the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front took control of Maaloula, a rugged region known as al-Qalamoun, 55 km north of Damascus.

The town is crucial for the rebels who hope to tighten their grip on areas surrounding Damascus.

The recapture of the town would help government troops secure the international road that connects Damascus with central and northern provinces.

It is one of the oldest cradles of Christianity in Syria.

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