5 killed in violence across Syria – group

2012-03-29 13:02

Beirut - At least five people, including three civilians, were killed early on Thursday in violence across Syria, a monitoring group said.

The civilians died as regime forces stormed villages near the town of Maaret al-Numan, in northwestern Idlib province, which has been under a relentless army assault since the start of the month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In central Hama province, two soldiers were killed when their vehicle came under attack by armed rebels, the Britain-based group added.

Clashes were also taking place near the town of Zabadani, in Damascus province.

A loud blast was reported in Harasta, also in Damascus province, and plumes of smoke could be seen rising near an army checkpoint, the Observatory said.

In the village of Dael, in southern Daraa province, fierce clashes were taking place between regime forces and rebel troops.

"Eight soldiers have been wounded and a military armoured vehicle was hit," the Observatory said.

The violence was taking place despite the United Nations saying earlier this week that President Bashar Assad had agreed to a plan to stop one year of bloodshed that has left more than 9 000 people dead.

The regime has ignored a chorus of international condemnation and pressed on with its campaign to crush rebel strongholds.

The rebels, outgunned and outnumbered, have resorted to hit-and-run operations as they seek to topple the regime.