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Syrian Rebel Infighting Leaves 500 Dead In One Week: Activists

Image: SYRIA-CONFLICT
A rebel fighter walks in a street of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday. MOHAMMED WESAM / AFP - Getty Images

Fighting between an al Qaeda-linked group and a loose alliance of more moderate and ultraconservative rebel brigades has killed nearly 500 people over the past week in northern Syria, an activist group said Friday.

The rebel-on-rebel violence that broke out a week ago has spread across four provinces in opposition-held parts of the north in what amounts to the most serious infighting among opponents of President Bashar Assad since the country's conflict began in March 2011.

The clashes pit fighters from a variety of Islamist and moderate factions against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group that has alienated many Syrians over the past several months by using brutal tactics to implement its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that at least 482 people have been killed in the fighting. It said 240 of the dead were rebel fighters, while another 157 were from the "Islamic State." The remaining 85 were civilians, the Observatory said.

-- The Associated Press