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AMMAN, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Syrian army helicopter bombardment killed 16 rebels from the same family in the southern Hauran Plain, a strategic region that links Damascus with Jordan, where fighting has intensified in the past several days, opposition sources said on Friday.
The loss on the rebel side came after fighters attacked an army roadblock on Thursday near the town of Busra al-Harir and were pursued from the air, the sources said, adding that army artillery also started shelling the town.
"The 175th Regiment is now shelling Busra al-Harir from Izru," an opposition activist in the region said, referring to a Syrian army base near the main highway linking Damascus to the border city of Deraa, birthplace of the 17-month revolt against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
He said the rebels killed were all from the Hariri family, a prominent southern clan from Busra al-Harir that has been at the forefront of armed resistance to Assad. (Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Peter Cooney)