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   BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian State TV is reporting that President Bashar Assad's army is now in full control of the embattled border town of Qusair, where fighting raged with rebels for nearly three weeks.

   The state TV said on Wednesday that regime troops "restored security and peace" after successfully dismantling the "terrorist networks" operating in the town over the last few days.

   Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV, which has reporters embedded with Syrian troops, was reporting live from the town, showing images of damaged buildings. The reporter said there was no sign of fighting.

   Government troops, backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters, began a wide offensive on the strategic town, which lies near the Lebanese border, on May 19.

Published in National News

   DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state TV and residents of Damascus say a powerful explosion has hit the country's capital.

   The nature of Tuesday's explosion in the heart of Damascus was not immediately clear. Resident say they heard a powerful blast and saw thick, black smoke billowing from behind a group of buildings.

   Gunfire was heard in the area immediately after the Tuesday morning blast.

   Syrian TV says the explosion occurred in the central district of Marjeh, although the target was not immediately clear.

   The blast comes a day after Syria's prime minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in the heavily protected area of Damascus.

Published in National News

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