BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say rebels have pushed government troops from most of a city in northern Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels are now in control of "large parts" of the city.
If the rebels seize control of the city (Raqqa) it would be the first time an entire city falls into the hands of Syrian rebels.
On opposition social media sites, activists are declaring the city "liberated." A photo posted on several pro-rebel Facebook pages showed people tearing down a huge poster of President Bashar Assad and hitting it with their shoes.
An amateur video shows dozens of people in a large square jumping on a toppled statue of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez Assad.
Rebels have been advancing in the province for weeks, capturing the country's largest dam. Yesterday, they stormed the central prison.
Rebels hold parts of major Syrian cities and suburbs of Damascus, and control large areas in the countryside, particularly in the north.
APPHOTO BEI102: Citizen journalism image provided by Coordination Committee in Kafr Susa which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows people tearing down a huge poster of President Bashar Assad and hitting it with their shoes, in Raqqa, Syria, Monday, March. 4, 2013. The activists said the picture was taken inside the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Raqqa. (AP Photo/Coordination Committee In Kafr Susa) (4 Mar 2013)
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