Prison seized in Aleppo, hundreds freed

Photo from Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 shows rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag as they step on the top of a Syrian air force helicopter, at Taftanaz air base that was captured by the rebels, in Idlib province, northern Syria. (AP File Photo/ENN)
Photo from Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 shows rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag as they step on the top of a Syrian air force helicopter, at Taftanaz air base that was captured by the rebels, in Idlib province, northern Syria. (AP File Photo/ENN)

BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian activists say opposition fighters have seized large parts of the central prison in the city of Aleppo, freeing hundreds of prisoners there.

For months, the prison has been caught in the deadly stalemate of Syria’s civil war. It is estimated to have around 4,000 prisoners.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several hundred prisoners were freed by the rebels on Thursday. The anti-government Aleppo Media Center confirmed rebels had seized most of the prison.

However, state-run Syrian television said the army foiled an attempt by “terrorist groups” to attack the prison.

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