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Syrian army seizes villages north of Aleppo - state TV

Rebel fighters stand at the back of a pickup truck with a mounted weapon at the Handarat camp frontline, an area located beside Aleppo Central prison, during what activists said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the north of Aleppo October 3, 2014. . REUTERS/Hosam Katan

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army has taken control of three villages north of Aleppo, state television said on Friday, in a campaign by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad that could encircle insurgents in the city.

State television said forces moved into al-Mudafah, Handarat and Sifat, including four intersections west of Sifat, killing “many terrorists and destroying dozens of cars”.

Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Catherine Evans