Oct 2 - Syrian state news reports government troops regaining control of Rastan amid a rising death toll. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Syrian state TV shows people celebrating in the streets of Rastan as government forces seize the town. Large protests against President Bashar al-Assad erupted here, in the province of Homs, about 180 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. But military defectors defending the town withdrew under heavy shelling and gunfire from government tanks and helicopters. The fighting marked the most prolonged battle between insurgents and loyalist forces. Thousands have died during six months of protests nationwide and activists say an average of 10 to 20 more are being killed each day. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters