Fighting continues around Christian town of Maaloula: Video

The ancient Christian city of Maaloula has become the epicenter for fighting between an al-Qaeda linked rebel group and the Syrian government.
Fighting continues between government forces and the terrorist groups around predominantly Christian town of Maaloula near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Footage shot by the Associated Press on Monday showed smoke rising in the area, as well as a Syrian army tank on a nearby mountain road.

Gunfire was also audible.

In previous battles, al-Qaeda-linked militants have desecrated churches in the town.

Army forces and foreign-backed militants are clashing in the Qalamoun area over a strategic highway and smuggling routes from neighboring Lebanon.

Maaloula lies on the edge of the central region of Qalamoun, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of the capital, and is located near a key highway connecting Damascus with Homs, Syria's third-largest city.

BA/BA

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