Syria rebels in key Aleppo neighborhood

Mar 30, 2013, 7:58 AM EDT
In this Thursday March 28, 2013 image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian Free Army fighters in Dael less than 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the Jordanian border in Daraa province, Syria.
(AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels have taken control of at least part of a strategic neighborhood in the northern city of Aleppo after days of heavy fighting.

The Aleppo Media Center opposition group and Aleppo-based activist Mohammed Saeed say rebels seized control of the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheik Maqsoud in its entirety late Friday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, says rebels took only the eastern part of the neighborhood, and reported heavy fighting there Saturday.

The Observatory also said rebels captured a pro-government Sunni Muslim cleric, killed him, then paraded his body around the neighborhood.

State-run Al-Ikhbariya TV identified the cleric as Hassan Seifeddine. It said he was beheaded and his head was placed on the minaret of Al-Hassan Mosque where he used to lead the prayers.