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March 14, 2012
Journalist recounts fleeing Syrian city under fire
ANTAKYA, Turkey (AP) by Rodrigo Abd -- Explosions illuminated the night as we ran, hoping to escape Syria after nearly three weeks of covering a conflict that the government seems determined to keep the world from seeing. Tank shells slammed into the city streets behind us, snipers' bullets whizzed by our heads and the rebels escorting us were nearly out of ammunition.
It seemed like a good time to get out of Syria.
With regime forces closing in on the rebel-held northern city of Idlib, Associated Press cameraman Ahmed Bahaddou and I set out Sunday for neighboring Turkey on a journey that would take us through a pitch-black passage and miles of muddy olive groves in the freezing cold.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Award-winning journalists Rodrigo Abd and Ahmed Bahaddou sneaked into Syria and spent nearly three weeks reporting from opposition-held territory. Here is a selection of Abd's pictures.
Read the full story.

(16 images)



In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebels take position during clashes with Syrian Army forces in Idlib, north Syria. In the previous days, troops had encircled Idlib, and tank shells pounded the city from dawn until evening. Rebels dashed through the streets, taking cover behind the corners of buildings as they clashed with the troops. Wounded fighters were piled into trucks bound for makeshift clinics. AP / Rodrigo Abd


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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army fighters eat together during a lull in fighting with the Syrian Army in Idlib, north Syria. Rebels dashed through the streets, taking cover behind the corners of buildings as they clashed with the troops. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army fighters celebrate after hearing that their comrades destroyed a Syrian Army tank in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army fighters ride a motorbike to approach Syrian Army tanks in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Syria rebels pause for a moment in between fierce firefights with Syrian Army in the town of Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Saturday, March 10, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebels take cover during heavy fighting against government troops in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebels are seen amid smoke after being hit by a tank, unseen, during a day of heavy fighting with Syrian Army forces in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 photo, Syrian rebels plant a makeshift explosive device to destroy a Syrian Army tank during a day of heavy fighting with Syrian Army forces in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters discuss military strategies during a day of heavy fighting with Syrian Army forces in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a man tries to help a Syrian rebel after being wounded by fragments of an exploding shell in Idlib, north Syria. Wounded people, crowded into the clinic in bloodstained clothes. Many had clearly been struck by snipers, who shot them through the legs and arms. Shrapnel left many with gaping wounds; many died in their beds. There was no space in the morgue for more corpses, so families immediately arranged to bury the dead. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, medics help a wounded man outside a hospital during fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a morgue worker burns a bandage to bind the hands of a boy who died from his wounds during heavy fighting between Syrian rebels and the government forces in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a Syrian rebel reacts after learning the death of at least four comrades and several injured during clashes with Syrian government forces outside a hospital in Idlib, north Syria. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Saturday, March 10, 2012 file photo, Hana, 12, flashes the victory sign next to her sister Eva, 13, as they recover from severe injuries after the Syrian Army shelled their house in Idlib, north Syria. Their father and two siblings were killed after their home was shelled. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, the wife of Mohammed Halak slumps in a chair next to his body as she mourns the death of her husband, killed during fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and the Syrian Army in Idlib, north Syria.Wounded people, crowded into the clinic in bloodstained clothes. Many had clearly been struck by snipers, who shot them through the legs and arms. Shrapnel left many with gaping wounds; many died in their beds. There was no space in the morgue for more corpses, so families immediately arranged to bury the dead. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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AP's Ahmed Bahaddou, left, and Rodrigo Abd, center, climb the back of a tractor in the Turkish town of Hacipasa close to the border with Syria Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Rodrigo Abd and Ahmed Bahaddou sneaked into Syria and spent nearly three weeks reporting from opposition-held territory. Abd, an Associated Press photographer, is based in Guatemala. Bahaddou is a freelance TV news producer, based in Turkey. AP / Nebi Qena



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