Rebels Battle Syrian Regime Troops

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Former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan as the international envoy working to bring an end to the conflict in Syria, the UN has announced. Mr Annan ended his attempts to bring peace to the country, which has seen an estimated 21,000 people killed during a 17-month uprising, after it became clear his six-point plan was being ignored by both sides. Violence has soared in recent months as the rebel Free Syrian Army has gained in strength, launching attacks on regime forces in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's largest city. Sky News' foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said there was heavy fighting in the capital overnight as opposition forces attempted to shoot down military helicopters over the city. Later, clashes took place around the main military airport and the army shelled a neighbourhood in south Damascus. Opposition activists claimed 65 bodies had been found dumped on a rubbish tip in a town outside the capital.