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Jul 30, 10:37 AM EDT

Activists: Al-Qaida abducts US-backed Syrian rebels


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Activists: Al-Qaida abducts US-backed Syrian rebels

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists say a leader and six members of a U.S.-backed rebel group have been abducted in northern Syria, most likely by the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a Turkey-based Syrian activist said Thursday that Col. Nadim al-Hassan, who heads a brigade known as "Division 30," was picked up near the border town of Azaz along with the other six.

The Observatory said they were among rebels trained in Turkey to fight the Islamic State group in Syria.

A statement issued in the name of "Division 30" accused the Nusra Front of being behind the abduction.

The incident came days after the U.S. and Turkey announced the outlines of a deal to help rebels push IS back from the Syrian-Turkish border.

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