World / Middle East

30 rebels, 10 govt troops killed in Syria

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-22 10:47

DAMASCUS - As many as 30 armed men were killed Wednesday in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour during clashes with government troops, a pro-government media reported, as sources said that a total of 10 government forces were also killed Wednesday in a roadside bomb blast in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The armed men were killed during clashes with the Syrian forces near al-Rawda mosque in the town of Jubaila in Deir al-Zour, Sham FM radio said.

Separately, the state-run SANA news agency said scores of "terrorists" had been killed during a qualitative operation carried out by the Syrian army against their gatherings at the orchards of the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

It added that the army has liberated tens of people, including children and women, who were kidnapped and besieged in Daraya by the terrorists to use them as human shield.

SANA said also that the army has seized a makeshift factory to make bombs and a tunnel to store weapons and ammunition in the area.

In the northern province of Idilb, Sham FM said a roadside bomb went off on the Idlib-Mastouma road, killing and injuring unidentified number of people. The reports stopped short of providing further details. However, a source said that the roadside bomb went off near an overnight military bus and killed 10 soldiers.

On the opposition side, activists said that an explosive device went off on Wednesday evening near a coffee shop in al-Zahera district of the capital Damascus, causing material damages.

Activists said that coffee shop is always occupied by security forces and pro-government gunmen.

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), activists' network, placed the death toll of Wednesday's violence at 95 and blamed the ongoing violence in the courtly solely on the Syrian administration.

The LCC also reported the shelling by government troops, and in some cases aerial bombardment, on a number of hotspots nationwide, including suburbs in Damascus, such as Daraya and Hajar al-Aswad among others.

Still, the activists' account couldn't be checked independently.

Tensions in Syria began in March, 2011, when protesters took to the streets to call for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. The situation has since escalated and Syrian security forces have been accused of firing on innocent protesters. The situation has evolved into an ugly conflict with no foreseeable solution.

More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly died in Syria since the country's crisis began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria's neighboring countries -- Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, according to UN estimates.

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