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Yabrud (Syria) (AFP) - Syria's army and Lebanon's Hezbollah seized full control of rebel bastion Yabrud on Sunday, dealing the opposition a strategic blow in the Qalamoun region along the Lebanese border. An AFP reporter entered the town after the army declared it had captured the opposition stronghold north of Damascus, in a symbolic victory a day after the third anniversary of the outbreak of Syria's conflict. Exhausted Syrian soldiers sat in the streets after seizing the town in fierce clashes with the support of battle-hardened fighters from Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah and pro-regime militiamen. "It was a very difficult battle, possibly the most difficult we have faced," a soldier who identified himself as Abu Mohammed told AFP in Yabrud's central square between puffs from a water-pipe.
NEW YORK (AP) — As workers tried to clear away the last of the rubble that once was two New York City apartment buildings, a pair of congregations gathered to mourn Sunday — one for its lost church and one for two members who lost their lives in the massive explosion.
Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - 19:40 GMT - 'Three days to annex Crimea' - Over in Moscow, Russian lawmakers are gathered inside the Duma -- the lower house of parliament -- to celebrate the referendum result.