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One civilian, two officers gunned down by gunmen across Syria

(Xinhua)

15:58, March 29, 2012

DAMASCUS, March 28 (Xinhua) -- One civilian and two army officers were killed Wednesday in Syria by "armed terrorist groups, " the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Armed groups assassinated a brigadier in northern Aleppo province Wednesday as another group shot dead a colonel at Joubar countryside of the capital Damascus, according to SANA.

Wednesday's attack came as part of other assassinations targeting senior army and security personnel. Rebel forces are believed to be behind the assassinations. The Syrian crisis has grown more militarized with civilians and army defectors taking up arms to face the government's alleged bloody crackdown.

In central Hama province, a 30-year-old civilian was found killed Wednesday after being kidnapped by unidentified gunmen for three months, said SANA, adding that marks of torture was seen on the man's body.

On the opposition side, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said that overnight protests erupted Wednesday in several Syrian cities, including suburbs of Damascus, southern Daraa and northern Aleppo provinces. The activist groups reported many people killed, however the reports couldn't be independently verified.

The United Nations said Tuesday the number of people who have been killed in Syria's violence since the unrest began in March last year has risen to more than 9,000. The Syrian government, however, accuses Takfiri terrorists of being behind the unrest in Syria. It said more than 2,500 army and security personnel have been killed during the yearlong crisis.

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