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Massive power outage hits Syria

The blackout plunged Syria's capital, Damascus, and the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida into darkness.

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A general view shows Syrians shopping on a street in Damascus at night on November 11, 2012. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

A massive power outage plunged Damascus and southern Syria into darkness late Saturday, according to Syria's state news agency, Fox News reported.

The blackout was reported in Syria's capital Damascus and the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, Fox said.

It comes as activists report a number of kidnappings in the country's north.

Activist groups differ on the number of those kidnapped -- ranging from a few dozen to over 300 people, Al Jazeera said.

According to Al Jazeera, the kidnappings are in retaliation for Thursday's abduction of 42 Shia Muslims, mostly women and children, who were on a bus heading to Damascus.

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura said they had received "allegations of abduction and rape of women and girls by armed groups" and demanded their release.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130216/massive-power-outage-hits-syria