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The attacks came after rebel groups including Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate overran the nearby town of Jisr al-Shughur on Saturday, tightening their grip on the northwestern province of Idlib less than a month after capturing its capital. Among the dead were nine women and eight children," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Jisr al-Shughur was one of the regime's last remaining strongholds in the northwestern province, and its fall has left government-held territory elsewhere in neighbouring Latakia and Hama provinces open to new attack. Overnight and on Sunday, government warplanes pounded Jisr al-Shughur with several dozen air strikes as fighting raged on the ground south of the city, said the Britain-based Observatory.
Turkish Cypriots voted in a new leader Sunday, with challenger Mustafa Akinci beating incumbent Dervis Eroglu in a run-off poll that could accelerate UN-backed efforts to reunify the long-divided island. Akinci, a former mayor of Nicosia in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and vocal advocate of reconciliation with the internationally recognised government, won 60.5 percent of the vote, organisers said. Soon after it became clear he would win, celebrations began at Akinci's office in north Nicosia, a few hundred metres (yards) from a UN-controlled buffer zone separating the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides of Europe's last divided capital. Eroglu, speaking at north Nicosia’s presidential residence, conceded defeat and welcomed what he termed a "changing of the guards".