July 20 Photo Brief: Ramadan begins, violence in Syria continues

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Holy month of Ramadan for Muslims begins, violence continues in Syria as some 30,000 Syrian refugees may have fled to Lebanon, and more in today’s daily brief.

Syrian forces stretched, spy chief fourth bomb victim
Oliver Holmes
2:04 p.m. EDT, July 20, 2012

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian troops fought on the corpse-strewn streets of the capital and at far-flung border posts on Friday to reverse gains by rebels, who have advanced relentlessly in the 48 hours since much of President Bashar al-Assad’s entourage was assassinated.

Assad’s intelligence chief died on Friday of wounds sustained in Wednesday’s bomb attack, becoming the fourth member of his narrow circle of kin and lieutenants to be killed by a blast that has transformed the 16-month conflict.

Since then, rebels have pushed deep into the heart of the capital and seized control of other towns. On Thursday, they captured three border crossings with Iraq and Turkey, the first time they have held sway over Syria’s frontiers.

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