BEIRUT - Syrian rebels captured an air defense base east of Aleppo on Friday as government forces battled insurgents on several fronts across the country, activists said.

Clashes were also taking place at a military barracks close to Maarat al-Nuaman, a town on the main highway to the northwestern city of Aleppo which was seized by rebel forces earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The pro-opposition Observatory gave a death toll for Thursday of more than 260 people, including civilians and combatants on both sides in violence in the capital and the north, west and east.

It said 92 soldiers were killed on Thursday, which would be one of the highest daily casualty counts on the government side since the uprising against President Bashar Assad broke out in March 2011.

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