Blasts kill 14 prisoners in Syria

2012-01-21 17:01

Beirut - Bomb blasts killed at least 14 prisoners travelling in a security vehicle in northwest Syria on Saturday and troops fought rebels elsewhere as the Arab League weighed whether to keep monitors in place.

The League looks set to extend its monitoring mission in Syria, given the lack of any Arab or world consensus on how to halt bloodshed there, an Arab diplomatic source said.

Syria's state news agency SANA said a "terrorist" group had set off two explosions on the road between the towns of Idlib and Ariha, killing 14 prisoners and wounding 26. Six police guards were also wounded, some critically.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the 10-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, said the death toll from the attack had risen to 15.

Elsewhere in Idlib province, it said troops were clashing with army deserters who have joined the insurgency in the Jebel al-Zawiya. The bodies of three soldiers were found near the village of Babolin, it added.

Syrian forces killed one Lebanese fisherman and wounded another when they seized their boat off the Lebanese-Syrian coast, the father of the dead man said. It was not clear why the Syrians had intercepted the vessel. Syria says its neighbours are failing to combat arms smuggling that supplies insurgents.