Rebels repel troops in Syrian town


Syrian rebels have repelled a push by government tanks into a key central town held by forces fighting against President Bashar Assad's regime, an activist group said today.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today's attempt to storm Rastan left at least three soldiers dead. Rastan has been held by the rebels since late January.

Calls to town's residents are not getting through. The telephone lines appear to be cut as they usually are during military operations.

The attack comes a day after the Arab League called for the Security Council to create a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping force for Syria and urged Arab states to sever all diplomatic contact with Damascus.

President Assad's crackdown on the 11-month Syrian uprising has killed more than 5,400 people, according to the UN.