Monday, June 24, 2024
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Syria forces killed in clashes with deserters: watchdog

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Nicosia: At least 10 troops and security service agents were killed in clashes with mutinous soldiers in Syria’s east, a human rights group said on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths occurred late last night in Deir Ezzor while early on Saturday a civilian was also killed in the eastern city.

The clashes “killed at least 10 regular army troops and security service agents, while three deserters were wounded, one of them critically,” the Britain-based watchdog said in a statement to AFP.

The civilian died when he was hit by gunfire as security forces launched raids in Deir Ezzor and carried out arrests, it said. On Friday, the military confirmed that six elite pilots and four others were killed in an attack the previous day, accusing foreign powers of supporting acts of terror within Syria.

“An armed terrorist gang murdered six pilots, an officer and three junior officers working for the military air base,” on Thursday, the army said in a statement quoted by the state news agency SANA. The ambush “took place on the Palmyra-Homs road,” it said. The attack was claimed on Thursday by the rebel Free Syrian Army which said seven military pilots were killed in an ambush on a bus.

The rebel army has stepped up attacks on regime targets in recent weeks in a bid to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad who has waged a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters since mid-March. (AFP)

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