13 Syrian army personnel killed in ambush set by "armed group": report

14:26, May 09, 2011      

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Thirteen army personnel were killed Sunday in an ambush set by an "armed terrorist group" in central city of Homs, Syria News local website reported.

The report said the army was chasing the "murderers" to bring them to justice. According to the authorities, "armed terrorist groups backed by foreign powers" are seeking to stir up unrest across the country.

Earlier the day, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV reported at least 12 Syrians were killed in the central city of Homs after troops backed with tanks deployed in the third largest Syrian city, while power and phone lines have been cut off.

Al-Jazeera said that Syrian army also deployed to the town of Tafas near Daraa conducting wide-range arrests campaign.

Troops backed with armored vehicles including tanks rolled into the southern Daraa city on April 25 and coastal city of Banias 12 days later. The intervention of army, however, failed to quell the ongoing pro-democracy protests.

Meanwhile, state SANA news agency reported that the army mourned on Sunday three of its personnel who were killed by a " terrorist group" last night in Homs, 160 km north to the capital Damascus.

Unprecedented anti-government protests erupted in mid-March in the southern city of Daraa and extended to other Syrian cities including the capital Damascus with successive Fridays witnessing thousands in the streets in dozens of towns.

Human rights groups say the security forces have shot dead 800 Syrians, while 8,000 people have been jailed or gone missing.

Source: Xinhua
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