NGO: Troops and rebels clash, 39 killed in Syria
AFP — Fierce fighting erupted on Wednesday between regime troops and rebels near Damascus and in Homs province, a watchdog said, while reporting 39 more people killed across Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five people were killed in the Damascus suburb of Douma, a hotbed of anti-regime sentiment, while a civilian was shot dead in Daraya, in the same province.
Also in Damascus province, government troops opened fire on mourners attending a mass funeral in Al-Diabiya, killing four, said the Britain-based watchdog.
In central Homs province, four people died at Qusayr, scene of earlier explosions, while another five people, including a regular soldier, were killed in the city of Homs, it said.
Two people were killed in the region of Hama when fighting took place in the town of Kafarzita between troops and rebels. Later, in Hama city, residents held a general strike to mourn the deaths of the two men.
In Jabal al-Zawiya, a rebel commander was killed in northeastern Idlib.
A sniper shot dead a man at Aleppo in the north, while unidentified gunmen killed an 18-year-old in eastern Deir Ezzor. A rebel fighter was also killed in the same province, the Observatory added.
In the same region, visiting UN monitors condemned the killing of 13 people whose bodies were found late Tuesday at Assukar, near Deir Ezzor, many of whom had been shot at close range, they said.
A blast struck a pipeline in Deir Ezzor, according to the state news agency SANA, which added that the explosion led to "a fire in the area."
Blaming "armed terrorist groups," SANA said this was the second time the pipeline was targeted.
At least 14 regular troops, the Observatory said, were killed on Wednesday when checkpoints in Idlib and Hama were targeted.
On Tuesday a total of 98 people, including 61 civilians, were killed in violence across Syria amid raging clashes between regime troops and rebels, the Observatory said.
More than 13,000 people have been killed, most of them civilians, since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted in March last year, according to the Observatory.
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